Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Finding Miracles for Yourself and Others

Hannukah is about many things. The story is about a tiny amount of oil that burned for eight days instead of only one. It’s about the unexpected victory of a small army over one much more powerful. It’s about finding freedom in a time of oppression. And it’s about our ability to accomplish heroic things even when we think of ourselves as anything but heroic.
In each case, the story is about discovering and experiencing something wonderfully unexpected–what we might call a miracle. And the in each case Hanukkah invites us to find the miraculous in our own lives even if we don’t exactly believes in miracles or think that they can happen for us if we do.
Here are eight tips for finding miracles in your own life, and for helping others to find miracles in theirs:
1. Define Miracle. After all, we cannot find that for which we are not looking–and miracles are not always supernatural. According to the Midrash, the bush from which God called to Moses had been burning forever. The miracle was not that a bush caught fire and remained intact, it was that Moses noticed. What’s your definition of a miracle?
2. Look closely. We have all been raised on stories of parting seas, resurrection of the dead etc. What is the “smallest” miracle you can identify in your own life? Why is it really something very big?


3. Tell miracle stories. Where have you witnessed miracles, as defined by you, happening for other people? What do you think made those miracles possible for them?
4. Dare to hope. Hoping for miracles can empower us by reconnecting us to what it is we really most desire. For what miracles are you hoping in your own life?
5. Make a list. What qualities do you possess that make you worthy of a miracle? Even if that hoped-for miracle never comes, it’s amazing how unexpectedly wonderful things can happen when we recall how worthy we are.
6. Invest in making a miracle. Over and over again, Hanukkah stories are about miracles that follow human action. Where can you start the process, which might unleash a miracle in your own life?
7. Discover your inner light. Like the little bit of oil that burned longer than anyone expected, each of us has abilities, talents, and capacities, which are little known or under-utilized. What are yours and how could they be used to accomplish a miracle for someone else?
8. Celebrate. If it matters to you, make the most of it. A central feature of lighting the Hanukkah menorah (hanukkiah) is that it brings people together in celebration of the miracles that matter most to them. Finding joy in what is, helps unlock our ability to locate the miracles we still need.

  • JKRuth

    WOW!Funny! How things happen for a reason. After lighting my Hannukah candle and asking Hashem that I would like to be a miracle to others around me and that He would show his miracles to me during this holiday of Hannukah, I check my e-mail and boom! An article about finding miracles for myself ad others! What perfect timing! Thank you Rabbi Hirschfield. I will read this article more intently and meditate on it this week!


    Every day the sun goes up and goes down at night, the earth is still on is axis, and each one of us is given a chance to do things better each day-those are miracles and we also have many more!

  • Your Name

    Miracles happen all around us daily if only we will see. Years ago, my son was severely head injured in a wreck. He also had bruises to his heart. It looked impossible that he would live. He was swollen beyond recognition but after 5 weeks was able to go to a rehab hospital, unable to even sit alone, but 5 weeks after that, walked out of that hospital. He eventually went back to high school, and was getting better all the time, although he was left with permanent brain damage. He died in his sleep two and one half years after the initial wreck, just six months shy of HS graduation. You might think…where is the miracle or was it all just a cruel joke played on us? The miracle was that he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior eleven months before this wreck and now waits in Heaven. God knew the future and what was down the road for my precious son and made a way for him to be saved and now he is perectly healed! He is safe and happy and we will see him again one day! God’s perfect timing is always a miracle. Jesus is a miracle!

  • Your Name

    Yes I was just recently involved in a miracle although I did not think a miracle at the time and I am still not sure it was a miracle but just luck that I was there. I was eating dinner at a restaurant and a man seemed to be joking and I was there an I have some medicle background, anyway I performed the heimlik maneuver and was successful in dilodging the blockedge of food in his esphogues, but he had had a heart attack I was able to get saomeone to call 911 and I was able to perform CPR and keep the man alive until the medics got there, whether he lived or not I do not know, I can only hope so. My question is this was that a miracle or merely luck that I was there and was able to do a descent job or not. Perhaps a Dr. at the restaurant would have definatly saved him or if not me someone else I am sure would have stood up!!! Sincerely, Bruce David Deitch (BDD

  • Your Name

    My form of “prayer” is asking silently “To whom ever is listening”….
    At one point in my life I asked every night to whom ever is listening to please bring my mother, sister, and I, someone to take us out of an abusive reloationship my mother was in. Thanking to whom ever was listening and hoping sometime soon my asking and thanking would prove me right about, a spiritual force actually existing. Not much later my mom started workin for a man whom, took us in and protected us as my went through with a divorce. To this day my step father has always been looked upon to me as the angel brought to me from, whom ever was listening.

  • Toni Star

    What an interesting article! I didn’t know much about Hannukah but now I understand much better. Miracles are all around us and it’s important, as the writer noted, to look around, look deep inside to see what miracles are available and what potentials each of us have for them to occur..
    Good writing…

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