Friends, I delivered the following sermon at a community interfaith Thanksgiving service. Wishing each of you a wonderful holiday, Rabbi Evan
The greatest Rabbi of Jewish history was named Moses Maimonides. Maimonides wrote a classic work of Jewish philosophy known as the Guide to the Perplexed, as well as a book of Jewish law known as the Mishneh Torah, the Second Torah. In addition to his rabbinical duties, Maimonides was a renowned physician, caring for the Sultan Egypt.
As a doctor and rabbi, Maimonides saw the Bible through a scientific rational framework. He struggled to make sense of instances—like the parting of the Red Sea in the Book of Exodus, or the Talking Donkey in the Book of Numbers—that violated the laws of nature. His answer was that some of these supernatural events were built in—preprogrammed to use a computer term—into the world. God wrote them in the computer code of creation.
I Believe in Miracles
Yet, Maimonides did not give up on the idea of miracles. A miracle for Maimonides did not have to be supernatural. Miracles can be a part of everyday life. Miracles depend on perspective. He had early insight into an idea Albert Einstein later expressed: “There are only two ways to look at the world. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
I would add: greater happiness and satisfaction come from the latter. How do we cultivate that perspective? How do we live so that we might proclaim, as did Rabbi Sobel in the text from psalms, “This is the Day God has chosen; let us rejoice and be glad in it?” Continue Reading This Post »