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"Miracles" - IEA Reut-Sadaqa on May 14th

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  • Yehuda Stolov
    Dear friends, We take this opportunity to convey our warm wishes to our Christian friends for Pentecost (a bit late – sorry for that…) and Trinity Sunday.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2007
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      May 27, 2007

      Dear friends,

       

      We take this opportunity to convey our warm wishes to our Christian friends for Pentecost (a bit late – sorry for that…) and Trinity Sunday.

       

      Yours,

       

      Yehuda

       

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      IEA-Reut/Sadaqa met at the Swedish Theological Institute on Monday, May 14th.  We weren't in our usual spot there but rather took over a more intimate, enchanted room in one of the adjoining buildings of the complex.

       

      We welcomed two guests from California – Chana and Shlomo Kreitzer, as well as Emunah Witt, a Jerusalem resident.

       

      With the theme of this meeting being "miracles", Louis Bohte, our Franciscan friar member, made the Christian presentation.

       

      Miracles play always an important role in the Christian tradition and go back to the life of Jesus Christ who made miracles - not like a magician, rather, as a sign of some special mission or gift and explicitly ascribed to God.

       

      In studying the Gospel miracles we are impressed by the accounts given of their multitude, and by the fact that only a very small proportion of them is related by the Evangelists in detail; the Gospels speak only in the most general terms of the miracles Christ performed in the great missionary journeys through Galilee and Judea. We read that the people, seeing the things which He did, followed Him in crowds (Matthew 4:25), to the number of 5000 (Luke 9:14) so that He could not enter the cities, and His fame spread from Jerusalem through Syria (Matthew 4:24).

       

      Christian philosophy teaches that God, in answer to prayer, confers not only spiritual favours but at times interferes with the ordinary course of physical phenomena, so that, as a result, particular events happen otherwise than they should. This interference takes place in miracles and special providences. A most recent example is the healing of a sister from Parkinsons by praying to the late pope John Paul II, who also suffered from Parkinsons.

       

      Louis ended by saying he lives close to the milk grotto, where Jesus with his parents lived shortly after his birth. Mary should have lost some drops of her mother milk. Nowadays there are women who can’t get a baby. But with powder of the grotto and prayers they conceive children: about 1500 babies have been registered. Healing from disease is also reported from this special place.

       

      Our guest, Emunah Witt, did the Jewish presentation.  Jewish tradition is rife with miracles.  She began by telling the story of Abraham and Sarah.  "Who else is 90 and 100 years old and is blessed with children at that age!?!!"

       

      She recalled the miracle of the Israelites in their conquest of biblical Jericho who, by just walking around the walls of the city seven times and by blowing trumpets, the walls of the city fell down.

       

      The prophet Elisha put salt into a wine container, poured it into a well and women had children. 

       

      The parting of the Red Sea only happened when Nachshon jumped into the water.  Prayer wasn't enough in this case.

      Telling the story of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, at the time that the Torah was given to the Jews at Mt. Sinai , the desert bloomed overnight.  Therefore, there is the custom nowadays to decorate homes and synagogues with flowers. Not only that, but everyone who was ill was healed.

       

      She ended by telling a personal story about her son who was a mischievous teenager and slid down a banister, injured himself badly in the fall, was then rushed to a hospital in intensive care.  She asked people around the world to pray for her son, which they did in many synagogues, not knowing if he would regain his total health – which, thanks to the multitude of prayers, he did.  His school teachers said – if the children didn't learn anything that year, what they DID learn was how to pray.

       

      Rafiqa, our Moslem coordinator, said that there are a lot of miracles in Islamic tradition and spoke about the Koran being a miracle in itself.  These days, there is a lot of evidence, research and scientific proof that the Koran is true. The Koran can also predict the future.   There are a lot of miracles in the Koran and Rafiqa touched on a few of them.  One was that the Prophet Mohammad moved from Mecca to Jerusalem overnight, which would ordinarily be a very long journey.  When in Jerusalem , he went up to the heavens and discovered the holy secrets.  He came back to earth to teach what he learned.  This night is holy for Moslems called Laylat Elesaraa wa Almearaj.

       

      Another miracle story from the Koran is that Hagar, Ismail's mother, searched for water in Saudi Arabia . She was desperate for water in order for her son to survive.  There a spring appeared, which they drank from, called Zam Zam.  This water is said to have healing qualities – even today – and is naturally sweet.  People who travel to Mecca bring back this water to their own communities for them to drink from it.  It is said that it brings luck as well as health. 

       

      After our presentations, we had a quick break – Nathanael brought in his by-now-famous ethnic breads. After our break, we broke up into two groups, each of us recounting personal miracles we have experienced in our lives.  And thank God – there is no shortage of miracles in this world.

       

      Report written by Leah Lublin, together with Rafiqa Othman and Karmela Farrugia, coordinators

       

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