Questions tagged [miracle]

Questions pertaining to miracles / ניסים (nissim).

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22 votes
8 answers
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Answering Atheist about Torah miracles

How do we explain our belief in the story of Yonah living in a Fish, the Splitting of a sea, and all the other fantastic Miracles described in the Torah to a person who was not brought up religious; ...
simchashatorah's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
693 views

why half-believe the Torah?

(I'm not sure this is on-topic, and feel free to close it if it's not, of course.) I understand some who study the Bible claim natural reasons for things we recognize as miracles, from the plagues of ...
msh210's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
2k views

Did the prophets practice magic?

The Torah clearly prohibits all forms of magic, which we might define as the achievement of any supernatural phenomenon. Yet we find many neviim, most blatantly Eliyahu and Elisha, achieving many ...
jake's user avatar
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14 votes
8 answers
4k views

Why are there eight days of Chanukah if there were only seven miracles?

There is a famous question asked by the Beis Yosef (R' Yosef Karo): Why do we celebrate eight days of Chanukah if the miracle lasted only seven? The jug of oil contained enough to be lit for one day, ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.2k
14 votes
10 answers
1k views

Why is God so hidden from us

Why did God institute a natural order so that His presence would be hidden. I know so many people who are hopelessly convinced of the scientists' belief that the world is basically a machine running ...
ray's user avatar
  • 21.2k
12 votes
1 answer
718 views

The "Miracle" of Hagar's giving birth

This question, coupled with some math I did today leads me to a question. Yishmael was born (according to the Jewish Timeline Encyclopedia) in the year 2034 from creation, the same year that Avraham ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 37.9k
12 votes
2 answers
402 views

Are these two urban legends about perceptions of God's help for Jews true?

The following story is told as an urban legend: I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every game....
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.6k
12 votes
2 answers
392 views

Rambam's view of Moses's miracles

The Rambam writes in Hilchos Yesodei hatorah (chapter 8), משה רבינו לא האמינו בו ישראל מפני האותות שעשה שהמאמין על פי האותות יש בלבו דופי שאפשר שיעשה האות בלט וכשוף. אלא כל האותות שעשה משה במדבר ...
Bach's user avatar
  • 2,728
10 votes
7 answers
950 views

Is the passage describing an approximation of pi or is it one of the miracles of Bais Hamikdash?

In Sepher M'lakhim we read how different measurement was taken. I wonder if this passage (Ⅰ M'lakhim 7:23) is describing an approximation of PI (3.1415...), or was this one of the hidden miracles? ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 1,007
10 votes
1 answer
900 views

Did each Kohen Gadol wear his predecessor's garments?

Did the Kohen Gadol wear the same garments his predecessor wore, going back to Aharon HaKohen, or did he have new garments specially tailored to fit him? In other words, were the garments each Kohen ...
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.6k
10 votes
1 answer
341 views

What is the qualitative difference between the revelation at Sinai and other miracles according to Rambam?

In Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah (8:1), Rambam writes: משה רבינו לא האמינו בו ישראל מפני האותות שעשה שהמאמין על פי האותות יש בלבו דופי שאפשר שיעשה האות בלט וכשוף אלא כל האותות שעשה משה במדבר לפי הצורך ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.2k
10 votes
3 answers
388 views

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues?

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues? Such as in שמות פרק ז פסוק יט: יט. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל מֵימֵי ...
RCW's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
356 views

How did the Cohanim manage to walk on the Copper Mizbeach?

Copper is a very good heat conductor. In the Mishkan the outside Mizbeach was made of copper, and had a fire burning on it continuously. (Actually it's a dispute if it had 3 or 4 fires burning on it ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
175 views

Why specify the wind as the force for Hashem's miracles?

There seems to be a consistent phenomenon where the Torah relays a miracle or sign of Hashem, but only when He carries the act out through wind is the process specified. Why is this? See parshas Bo ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.5k
8 votes
4 answers
687 views

The Chanuka Miracle of the Oil and Tumah Hutra Btzibur

In the events of Chanukah, why did they need the miracle of finding the Shemen tahor pure olive oil? After all,the Gemara says Tumah Hutrah beTzibur (pesachim 77a), meaning if all the oil is Tumay ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.2k
8 votes
2 answers
152 views

Why did Moshe have the voice of a grown up boy?

Shemos 2:6 states: וַתִּפְתַּח֙ וַתִּרְאֵ֣הוּ אֶת־הַיֶּ֔לֶד וְהִנֵּה־נַ֖עַר בֹּכֶ֑ה וַתַּחְמֹ֣ל עָלָ֔יו וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מִיַּלְדֵ֥י הָֽעִבְרִ֖ים זֶֽה׃ When she opened it, she saw that it was a ...
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 5,405
8 votes
3 answers
555 views

Why are we required to light Chanukah lights only for about half an hour?

Since the miracle of the oil of Chanukah was that from one flask of oil they miraculously had enough oil for the menorah to burn all night for eight days, why did Chazal require us to light only for ...
user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
623 views

(Neis) Miracle of Sarah giving birth at 90

We all know how in Parshas Vayeira the miracle of Sarah giving birth @ 90 takes place. In Mitzrayim Yocheved gave birth @ 130 yet there is no mention of this. Was it not a bigger miracle? Then why is ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
754 views

What sages were known to have revived the dead?

The Talmud speaks of several rabbis who successfully appealed to G-d to revive a deceased colleague or some other individual. As I recall, one revived rabbi asked to be return to the world of the ...
Bruce James's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
982 views

Why doesn't Al Hanisim Mention the Miracle of the Oil?

Why is there no mention of the miracle of the candles burning for eight nights in Al Hanisim?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.2k
7 votes
6 answers
455 views

Will money fall from the sky if you pray for it?

If you daven for a parnasah and then just sit back will money come to you?
shy''k's user avatar
  • 1,375
7 votes
2 answers
219 views

Chanuka - what was the real miracle?

Was the miracle the fact that they found the oil? Was it that the oil lasted all 8 days? Was it that they won the war over the mighty greeks? From the fact that we light menorah, it seems that the ...
N123's user avatar
  • 2,873
6 votes
1 answer
293 views

Was Jonah aware of his miraculous past?

I'm told that some midrashim state that the boy revived by Elijah (I Kings Ch. 17) grew up to be the prophet Jonah. If so, was Jonah aware of this? It makes for an interesting dimension of his ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 132k
6 votes
2 answers
183 views

The blossoming of Ahron's staff a miracle not a trick?

For years I have read the pesukim of Korach 17:20 -25 which describes the episode of the blossoming of Ahron's staff amongnst the other tribe leader's staffs. However, if you notice Moshe Rabbeinu ...
sam's user avatar
  • 41.5k
6 votes
0 answers
825 views

Why did the 4 miracles of the Temple stop 40 years before the destruction of the Temple?

According to the Sefaria translation of Yoma 39b: The Sages taught: During the tenure of Shimon HaTzaddik, the lot for God always arose in the High Priest’s right hand; after his death, it occurred ...
Yaakov Roth's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
393 views

Different miracle-publicization strategies on Chanuka and Purim

There are two commandments during the year that are explicitly associated with "publicizing the miracle" ("פירסומי ניסא"): lighting Chanuka candles and reading Megilat Esther on Purim. These are the ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
5 votes
3 answers
137 views

Should one avoid deriving benefit from miracles?

In Taanit 24b it states אֲמַר רַב מָרִי בְּרַהּ דְּבַת שְׁמוּאֵל: אֲנָא הֲוָה קָאֵימְנָא אַגּוּדָּא דִּנְהַר פָּפָּא, חֲזַאי לְמַלְאֲכֵי דְּאִידְּמוֹ לְמַלָּחֵי דְּקָא מַיְיתִי חָלָא וּמְלוֹנְהוּ ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
350 views

How do Jews discern genuine spiritual experiences from hallucinations?

When believers appeal to their private spiritual experiences to argue for their faith, skeptics typically respond by dismissing their stories entirely, conjecturing that these are more likely cases of ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
325 views

Was Lot's Wife transformation into a Salt Pillar a miracle?

We tend to envision Lot's wife becoming a salt pillar as a (lehavdil) medusa-like sudden freezing from a normal human-organic state to a stone-cold hard mineral state. Was this incident a miracle?
Yahu's user avatar
  • 16.1k
4 votes
1 answer
170 views

Asking God for miracles

During Chanukah and Purim, if one forgets to say Al HaNissim during Amidah or Birchas HaMazon in its usual place, the paragraph of Bemei Mordechai or Bemei Mattisyahu is said later on. In this case, ...
J. C. Salomon's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
291 views

Why don't open miracles occur nowadays?

Its clear from Tanach that Hashem performed open miracles during those times. What is the reason that there are no open miracles nowadays (i.e. ones without any clear natural explanation)?
bondonk's user avatar
  • 10.2k
4 votes
1 answer
747 views

Rav Yaakov Emden and the Survival of the Jewish people

Rav Yaakov Emden says, "By my life, the survival of the Jewish people in this golus is a greater miracle than the Splitting of the Sea" Where does he says this?
Chiddushei Torah's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
963 views

What was Moses' staff made of?

What was Moses' staff made of? Copper? What's relationship between Moses' staff being turned into a snake in Parsha Sh'mot and the incident in Parsha Chuckat if there is any?
הראל's user avatar
  • 2,535
4 votes
2 answers
127 views

Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, first....
DanF's user avatar
  • 70.3k
4 votes
2 answers
358 views

How does Judaism relate to miracle claims by other religions?

Other religions claim that (their) God or other individuals have performed miracles either on behalf of a person(s) or entire nations. Growing up I was taught that the Jewish people are God's special,...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
189 views

Why Can't Moshe's Hands Perform Miracles?

The Torah (Shemos 17) describes a battle between Israel and Amalek in Refidim, and says that when Moshe's hands were raised, the Israel would be winning, but when he lowered his hands Amalek would ...
הנער הזה's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did the Jews at Jericho stay silent for seven full days?

Joshua 6:1-27 says Joshua commanded the Jewish people to circle Jericho for seven days and to "not shout nor let your voice be heard, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I ...
Bruce James's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
200 views

Are there verifications for these miracles?

In Sanhedrin 65b (line 24 and further) Tornosrufus asked same question to R. Akiva. R. Akiva answered that there are three proofs that the day Jew think is Shabbos is a real Shabbos. River ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 4,343
4 votes
1 answer
233 views

Miracles through natural means

I've heard it said that both Ramban and Rambam believed that Hashem causes miracles to occur through natural means, but I've never seen this. What exactly do they (and other significant Rabbonim) say ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
74 views

Why isn't the miracle of Channukah mentioned in Selichot?

In the selichot service, we have a prayer which lists the historic times when Hashem answered prayers (even implicit ones). The "mi she'ana" prayer starts with Avraham on Har Hamoriah and moves ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 37.9k
4 votes
0 answers
69 views

Lighting on Chanuka for advertising the mitzva?

The Bavli, Shabbos 21b, discusses lighting the Chanuka lights out of doors; Rashi gives the reason for outdoor lighting as משום פרסומי ניסא / for advertising the miracle. Further down the amud, ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.7k
3 votes
2 answers
96 views

Source for the miracle in the merit of oil

The haftarah for parshas Vayeira opens with the story in Melachim II chapter 4 of the widow of the prophet Ovadyah (as Rashi brings on 4:1) and the miracle Elisha performs for her. There is a famous ...
gt6989b's user avatar
  • 3,047
3 votes
2 answers
259 views

Why was it so important for Hashem to create the 'mouth' of the ass

We read in Balak that the ass 'spoke' to Bilaam. This was a special miracle that an ass could speak, made during the six days of creation. Hashem doesn't make miracles for nothing. What is the great ...
cham1's user avatar
  • 101
3 votes
1 answer
117 views

Why doesn't the hagadah discuss miracles? [closed]

The hagadah (based on the discussion of Rav and Shmuel in pesachim) dedicates the bulk of maggid to expounded the verses of arami oved avi. But why is there very little discussion of the actual ...
none's user avatar
  • 3,948
3 votes
1 answer
132 views

G-d changing the past

A bit of a childish question. Is it possible for God to change the past? or is it one of those things that are generally possible but in certain occasions will never happen? I'm asking because of ...
Zeev's user avatar
  • 519
3 votes
0 answers
124 views

Did sorcerers have genuine power or were people simply gullible [duplicate]

Did sorcerers have genuine power or were people simply gullible. Perhaps they discovered things like electricity or magnetism that people of that time would think were magical. However I'm thinking of ...
AlHal's user avatar
  • 371
3 votes
0 answers
38 views

Why single out the miracle with the aron in כהושעת אלים? And why in that spot?

In the hoshana כהושעת אלים, most of it talks about the miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim and the splitting of the sea (letters א-נ), then moves on to the circuits around the mizbe'ach (ס-ע), then - ...
Shamiach's user avatar
  • 1,687
3 votes
1 answer
89 views

A list of all the miracles associated with the Man (Manna)

The Ibn Ezra on Sh'mot 16:35 writes נסים רבים היו במן I know of some of the many miracles associated with the mon but is there a complete list anywhere with citations and sources? So far here ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 37.9k
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego told that there would be no miracle?

I've heard a story somewhere before that before Shadrach Meshach and Abednego got toasted (literally), they came to a prophet asking whether there will be a miracle or not. (I forget the prophet's ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 4,343
2 votes
3 answers
219 views

Shiras HaYam - why specifically by this miracle?

Out of all the nissim (miracles) that HaShem did for Klal Yisrael (the Mann, Makkos, Bar Miriam, etc) why was it specifically by this miracle that Klal Yisrael sang Shira?
Yehoshua's user avatar
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