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The portion Bo discusses the tefilin, or phylacteries, which are worn on the head and arm, saying we put them on to remind us of the miracles that the Creator performed prior to, and during, the Redemption from Egypt. In other places in the Torah where it speaks of physical actions, it also tells us that in doing them we should remind ourselves of the miracles of the Redemption of Egypt.
"What is the purpose of these miracles?"
We know that everything written in the Torah has a purpose; what, then, is the importance of constantly reminding ourselves of these miracles?
The great kabbalist and commentator Rav Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban, explains this idea in his commentary on the portion Bo: “From the big and known miracles, we should understand the small miracles. This idea is the basis of all spirituality and connection to the Light of the Creator. A person has no true connection to the Creator unless he understands that everything that occurs is a miracle.”
It is an extremely important lesson; the kabbalists teach that the Light of the Creator is revealed to a person depending on his understanding of the Creator. Simply put, the more a person is conscious and certain of the presence of the Light of the Creator, the more he draws the Light of the Creator to him – it is the vessel that draws the Light. Conversely, to the degree that a person lacks the consciousness of the Creator is the degree to which he lacks a connection to the Light.
"The Light of the Creator is revealed to a person depending on his understanding of the Creator. "
One of the biggest reasons we sometimes forget the existence of the Creator is because we write things off just as “nature,” taking them for granted, when truly, they are miracles. We see the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening, we see a system that seems to work mechanically and on its own. But we need to remind ourselves that the sun rises and sets because of the Creator, and there really is no difference, in fact, between miracle and nature, because nature is simply constant miracles.
But what is the purpose of these miracles? They are not, the Ramban explains, simply for the miracle itself. Rather, they are to remind us of the Creator’s existence, Light, and blessings. The reason we wake in the morning, for example, is because the Creator tells our soul to re-enter our body; it is a miracle. The Ramban teaches, therefore, that when we read the sections in the Torah that deal with miracles, or when we do actions that are meant to remind us of the different miracles of the Creator, their purpose is not simply to remember. More importantly, we read or speak these sections and do these actions over and over to instill and reinforce in our minds that everything is a miracle.
As such, we learn through the portion Bo that when we are reading the sections in the Torah which speak about the miracles of the Creator, or doing the spiritual actions which remind us of those miracles, we should do so with the consciousness and desire that they strengthen our awareness of the Creator. Because in so doing, we can build and maintain more and more of a true connection to the Light.
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