You said a moment ago that it’s easier to come closer to Hakodosh Boruch Hu by seeing open miracles and that’s why our forefathers in the midbar saw miracles. Why don’t we have open miracles today to give chizuk to our emunah?
The question is, if it is easier to come closer when we see open miracles, why doesn’t Hakodosh Boruch Hu grant us open miracles today?
The answer is that Hashem does gives miracles – but instead of miracles, we’ll substitute a different word – we’ll say He gives opportunities for da’as. Da’as means clarity of understanding and Hashem gives da’as as a gift to the deserving.
What does that mean? I’ll explain to you. If a man is standing up to his waist in a stream of good clean water and as you drive by he is begging you; he says, “Please stop! Get out of your car and give me a drink,” he begs. So you’ll say, “This man is crazy as could be! He’s standing up to his waist in pure water; bend over and drink!”
And the principle is, it’s only when you do as much as you can do naturally, that’s when you are granted extra aid to go on further.
Avraham Avinu who spent seventy years gathering knowledge of Hashem from the phenomena of the universe, and he came to a very clear perception of the Borei – as much as a human being can – then Hakodosh Boruch Hu helped him over the threshold and He brought him to prophecy. But when people ignore the opportunities that are right at hand – they don’t even look into the seforim that teach so many important things that are easy for us to pick up. We can look in seforim and learn and instead we are begging for a handout: “Give us now a miracle so we should have additional knowledge.”
You have to know this is a waste; it’s a waste of miracle on them. Because when a person doesn’t have the attitude of interest and utilizing the opportunities at hand and you’re going to give him an extra opportunity, you’re going to be disappointed in his reaction. He’s so stultified, his mind is so obtuse that it’s not able to react in the right way; so much that even if a miracle happens, he’s going to explain it away and it will mean nothing to him. And therefore Hakodosh Boruch Hu only gives miracles to the people who are prepared to utilize them.
You have to know that a miracle is a very great gift. Hakodosh Boruch Hu hates to change the laws of nature. He never does it unless there is an important reason. And so, if it’s merely to bring people closer to Him so He says, “Why don’t you learn Mesillas Yesharim?” Mesillas Yesharim is a gold mine. How many people have studied the Mesillas Yesharim? You can’t read it in Hebrew, so read it in English. It’s a gold mine!
So you’re standing up your waist in water. There are beautiful seforim we have today – and you don’t bother to bend down and to drink, and you’re asking Hashem, “Give me a shower of da’as – it should rain down on me from above.” You don’t deserve it.
Our forefathers did everything they could, and when they came עד מקום שידו מגעת, to the point where they couldn’t go any further, that’s when they were given something additional.
TAPE # 161 (April 1977)