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Mishkan HaNefesh, Praise, Rosh Hashanah

Mishkan HaNefesh: Praise

High Holy Days 2023

Mishkan HaNefesh, Rosh Hashanah p. 127

What constitutes a miracle? Do we reserve that word exclusively for events like the parting of the Red Sea? Or, can we see, as Whitman does, miracles in every moment of every day? How might our lives change for the better if we started seeing the miraculous and the divine in every facet of creation?

Why! Who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing but miracles.
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love –
or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of an August forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds – or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down – or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new-moon in May. . . .
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles. . . .
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every inch of space is a miracle. . . .
Every spear of grass – the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

Excerpts from Mishkan HaNefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe © 2015 are under the copyright protection of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and used by permission of the CCAR. All rights reserved.