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Kislev, or Sagittarius, is a month, as we know, when we connect to Chanukah, which has the ability to bring miracles into our lives. So, as we draw down the potential of the great Light in this month, we want to become awakened in consciousness to what is unique and available to each of us.
With regards to miracles, usually it is when a person is in a bad situation and doesn’t simply just want a miracle; he needs one. So, often, we'll need a miracle, but the question is why? Why do we want a miracle? What is the real purpose behind it?
There's a story in the Zohar about Joseph. Jacob, as we know, had 12 sons, one of whom, Joseph, was hated by the rest of his brothers. The brothers get together and decide they are going to sell him as a slave down to Egypt. It says in the Bible that the people who were transporting the slave Joseph into Egypt happened to be carrying fragrances, like spices, that smelled good. And the kabbalists say that the Creator did not want Joseph to go down to Egypt with bad smells, and, as such, made it so that the people who were transporting him down to Egypt were carrying fragrances with them.
It’s very strange. Obviously the best thing in this situation would be the miracle of not being sold as a slave, rather than making sure there's some sort of good smell as Joseph is being transported. So, what’s going on here?
The deeper understanding is Joseph needed to go through that process.
And this is the reality of our lives; there are times when we have to go through challenges, because to have those challenges removed would not be what is best for us. The process of the challenge is the process that we are meant to go through for our soul to reveal its ultimate purpose. Therefore, what was the purpose of having those fragrances there, when everything else around smelled terrible? It was a tiny miracle compared to what was going on, but it was a sign.
Joseph had this little tiny miracle happen to him, and knew it was a sign from the Light of the Creator that everything was alright and part of the plan.
Because what happens when you receive a miracle? For example, you're driving down the highway and a terrible accident occurs right in front of you, but you are able to swerve and don't even know what happened, and are totally fine. What's the purpose? The purpose is to be excited: My life was just saved. What an amazing miracle, I'm so happy.
The purpose of a miracle is as a sign is to let us know it's all part of the plan. And therefore, the real purpose – and it is one of the things Rav Ashlag, the founder of The Centre tells us - is that the Light of the Creator will not give us things that are nice to have, but that are necessary.
As Joseph was being sent down in what must have been a very challenging and painful moment in his life, he was given a miracle for the purpose of awakening knowledge that it's all part of the plan. This little miracle was meant to shine on his entire life. And the great kabbalist Nachmanides, the Ramban, says that if a person appreciates a miracle, but does not change the way he sees the rest of his life from it, then the miracle is wasted.
Again, there are times when we need the miracle, when we need that healing and assistance. But even then, and certainly in other cases, the miracle is meant as a sign and awakening. And that's how we can ask for miracles.
Of course, we should ask for miracles when we need them, but we now understand that we should also ask for miracles because we want our life to be of a higher consciousness; we want to be able to see the smaller miracles and allow them to influence the way we see the rest of our life and have them change us. We should ask, “I want to see a miracle every day, because I want to grow, because I want to connect to the Light of the Creator, because I want to change from that miracle.”
In his letters, Rav Brandwein often shares with Rav Berg that as humanity develops, this needs to be a time when miracles become more and more common. How do we do that, and why is it necessary? Well, if we understand that we want to change, we want our consciousness to be on a higher level, we want our doubts to be much lower, we want our fears to be much lower, then one of the greatest ways to accomplish that is by seeing miracles… but not just seeing miracles; changing from the miracles. When we change from the miracles that we see, we’ll get more miracles.
If we’re changing, if our consciousness is changing, if our behavior is changing, if we're growing from seeing those miracles, we'll get more and more miracles, and we can ask for them. We can, at the beginning of the month of Kislev, the month where we have the vessel to draw miracles, ask the Light of the Creator to shower miracles into our lives, because we want to change and grow, because we want our consciousness to elevate, so that tonight, tomorrow, or the next day when something happens out of the norm, we focus on it: “Make my life more and more miraculous, because I want to change. I don't appreciate miracles. I don't want to be excited about miracles. I don't want to be thankful for miracles; I want to change from them.”
If that's the way we understand and receive miracles, then, in this month of Kislev, we can ask for and receive an ever-growing amount of them in our lives.
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