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JOURNEYS OF WONDER: SAM AND EMMA’S QUEST FOR MIRACLES

בס”ד

Sam and Emma were the best of friends. They had known each other since kindergarten and lived just a few houses apart. In kindergarten, they always played together in the sandbox and with blocks, and from that moment on, they were inseparable, always seeking exciting stories to share. One day, Sam found an amazing book about physics in the library, and in it, there was an intriguing story about how the wind could blow water away, allowing people to walk through shallow water or even on dry land. He couldn’t wait to tell Emma what he had discovered.

Sam: “Hey Emma, listen to what I found in this cool book about natural phenomena! Okay, so, you know, there are places in the world, like in Canada, where the tides are really mega high. It’s all in this book about the Bay of Fundy. Look here, it says that the water there is so high that it floods narrow passages between islands. But now, here’s the fun part – when the tide goes out, all that water recedes, revealing those passages!

So, imagine, it’s like nature using some kind of magic to make the water go up and down. It’s not exactly like the story of the Exodus, but it’s still pretty amazing how nature can make things seem like a big adventure!

Emma: “Really? That sounds extraordinary; I’d love to see that, to walk through there! That would be a real adventure! But if it was something like that during the Exodus when the people had to go through the sea, does that mean there was nothing miraculous about it?”

Sam: “That’s exactly what I was wondering! You know what, Emma? Let’s go together to Rabbi Jacob and ask him.”

Emma: “Wait, Rabbi Jacob? That man who always tells those fascinating stories? Great idea!”

And so, Sam and Emma decided to embark on a journey to the wise Rabbi Jacob, curious about the fascinating answer he had in store for them. Along the way, they excitedly shared ideas about what else they might discover during their adventures.

Upon arriving at the rabbi’s, Sam and Emma presented their question. “Rabbi Jacob, we were wondering what remains of that great miracle of the sea if nature can cause such phenomena. Do you know anything about it?”

Rabbi Jacob smiled and invited them to sit. “Let’s take a look at the beautiful interplay between G-d and nature. At the moment the children of Israel crossed the sea, G-d arranged it so that the miracle happened precisely at that moment! It’s like in your music group, the conductor tells you, Sam, when to hit the drum and you, Emma, when to play the triangle. God is the conductor of nature, determining when things happen. How cool is that?”

Emma, full of wonder, asked: “Oh, that’s so cool! Tell us more, Rabbi Jacob!”

Sam and Emma sat curiously with Rabbi Jacob.

Rabbi Jacob: “Do you remember that story about Joshua in the Tenach? He asked G-d to make the sun and the moon stand still.”

Emma: “Yes, that was such a strange but interesting story! What do you think really happened, Rabbi Jacob?”

Rabbi Jacob smiled: “Children, imagine it was a kind of celestial pause! Like Joshua said to G-d: ‘Hold on, we want to win this battle.’ And then, at that special moment, G-d made something extraordinary happen with the sun and the moon.”

Sam: “A celestial pause? That sounds cool! But can the sun and moon really stand still?”

Rabbi Jacob: “Maybe there was something marvelous in the sky, like a beautiful celestial event. Scientists could explain it as something natural, but for Joshua and his friends, it was a sign of G-d’s extraordinary power.”

Emma: “So, it was like a special show from G-d?”

Rabbi Jacob nodded: “Exactly! Sometimes, G-d uses nature in a unique way to show us that miracles can always happen, even in the most unusual situations.”

Sam and Emma, full of wonder, listened attentively to Rabbi Jacob’s wise words.

Sam and Emma, inspired to discover more wonders and mysteries in the world, left Rabbi Jacob’s house. As they walked outside, they looked around with renewed curiosity, ready for the adventures and miracles that awaited them.

Learning Points

1: Discovering and Learning Together. The story underscores the importance of embarking on a journey of discovery together and learning from one another. Sam and Emma share their fascination with natural phenomena and seek answers together, enhancing their friendship and expanding their knowledge.

2: Harmony between Faith and Science. The narrative illustrates the idea that faith and science can coexist harmoniously. Rabbi Jacob highlights the collaboration between God and nature, where scientific explanations do not diminish the miraculous aspects of faith. It emphasizes the notion that both perspectives can complement each other in the quest for understanding.

By Angelique Sijbolts
Reading English by Calvin

Inspired by a tale from Martin Buber’s book, “Chassidic Tales.”

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