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November 23, 2020
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Home Shalom promotes healthy relationships and facilitates the creation of judgement free, safe spaces in the Jewish community. Home Shalom is a program of The Advot Project.

Please contact us if you are interested in a workshop and presentation about healthy relationships, self-worth or communication tools.

“Even those who have a miracle happen to them don’t recognize their own miracle.” – Talmud Niddah 31a 

There is a story told in the Talmud about two men who were traders who both intended to set sail on a ship bound for a foreign land where they might trade their goods. On the way to the ship, one of the men gets a thorn in his foot which becomes infected so that he can’t travel and he misses the boat (literally). Naturally, he is upset and begins to revile God. He expresses his anger at the misfortune that has fallen upon him. He then learns that his friend’s ship had sunk in the sea and everyone aboard was lost. When he hears the news, suddenly he realizes that what he thought was a curse was actually a blessing and he starts to praise God instead of cursing Him. The sages of Jewish tradition then say, “That is why it is written, ‘Your wrath turned back and you comfort me’” (Isaiah 12:1). They use this passage from the Bible to assert, “Even those who have a miracle happen to them don’t recognize their own miracle.”

The lesson taught is that we have miracles abounding in our lives but mostly walk sightless through them all and fail to recognize them when they happen.  It is a common human trait to see that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, to constantly compare our own life circumstances to that of others and believe that others are better off. The constant comparisons we make tend to discourage us from recognizing the power of our personal choices and the fundamental right that each of us has to choose what and who serves us and to reject those that diminish our individuality and feelings of self-worth. “Consent” is literally a “God-given” right in Jewish tradition and we should each cherish it for the blessing that it is.

Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Home Shalom
Naomi Ackerman, The Advot Project

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