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“You experience miracles every single day”. D’var Torah for Parshat Behar.

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Did you know that you experience miracles every single day?

We acknowledge that three times a day in our Amidah prayer, when we say thank you to Hashem ‘Ve’al nisseicha shebbechol yom immanu’ – thank you for your miracles which are with us every single day.

In the Parsha of Behar, the concept of ‘Yovel’ – of the Jubilee year – is presented to us and the Jubilee actually reminds us of the phenomenon of daily miracles.

The term ‘Yovel’ – what does it mean?

Rashi says it means the Shofar and the sound that it makes, reminding us of the sounding of the Shofar at the end of the Jubilee year.

But Ramban says no, you do not name an entire year after just one event, rather says Ramban, ‘Yovel’ comes from a term which means ‘Lahoveil’ – to stretch out.

It’s a term used by the Prophet Isaiah ‘Yov hilu drachecha’ – that all your steps will take you to a far distance.

Indeed, a removals company will have on its van in Hebrew in Israel ‘Hovala’ – that is what ‘Yovel’ is, to take something that happens now and to enable it to inspire you for a long time to come.

That is the purpose of the Jubilee year, only once every 50 years, so that people will derive inspiration from it for the following 49.

When I was Rabbi at Finchley Synagogue, over one summer period, we ran a series of talks at Seudah Shlishit.

Every Shabbat I invited a different speaker to speak on the same subject and that was: The three most inspirational moments of my life.

One of our guest speakers was Rabbi Shaul Robinson, who was then the Rabbi in Barnet. He walked a long way to join us, and I will never forget his talk.

He spoke about three very special events – events that all of us were familiar with from the past and then he said “actually ladies and gentlemen, I could have been present for those three events, but I decided to do something else. I wasn’t there.” And his message to us was: please open your eyes to appreciate what’s happening around you, take advantage of opportunities, because they will probably never come your way again.

I found those words so inspirational, because right now in our vulnerable world, we are so enormously challenged and yet everyday God is performing miracles. All we need to do is to open our eyes, to appreciate how He is blessing our people and how within His master plan – He is directing us, ultimately towards what will be good for all humankind.

Yes, we thank God for the miracles He performs for us every single day, so let’s open our eyes to recognise them and to enable them to shape the rest of our existence.

Shabbat Shalom.

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