So let’s say Moses turns up today. He’s a teacher. He’s a liberator. He’s the greatest prophet of history, and no one makes miracles like Moses.

What would he liberate us from? What sort of miracles would he make this time around? Questions such as these kept popping into my mind, along with Moses’s possible responses…

Me: So, Moses, it’s very exciting to have you back again. Last time around you pulled off a groundbreaking feat of civil rights, emancipating slaves—an historical first! But you went way beyond that, educating them, forging them into a commonwealth society and bringing them to their own land. Who else ever changed the course of history as you did? It’s hard to imagine there would be any concept of human rights or liberty today without you. So what’s up now?

Moses: Well, Tzvi, I think nowNow we need something much more radical and disruptive. we need something much more radical and disruptive.

Me: Like taking on political suppression and torture in China and North Korea? Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia? Saving the Blue Whale, the Amazon Rain Forest and fixing the global climate-change mess?

Moses: Those are important, but they’re really only symptoms of a much greater problem. We’ve got to get down to core issues.

Me: Core issues? Hey, we’ve taken care of a lot of those lately. The world is at 80% literacy today; extreme poverty cut by more than half in the past twenty years; infant mortality rates at rock bottom worldwide, and all the knowledge in the world available to every village tribesperson in the palm of their hand. What other core issues do you want addressed?

Moses: All that tells you one thing: The world is ready today for something transformational. The ultimate paradigm shift. Something that changes everything.

Me: Well, that’s certainly what you did in Egypt. Talk about transformational —introducing freedom into a world of egomaniacal demagogues, forging an entire people that has lasted over 3300 years, and hey—those plagues! Miracles! Wonders! Total disruption of the entire order of nature! You had Pharaoh’s research team in total disarray!

Moses: They never published a single paper on any of it. Not a single journal would accept one.

Me: But it’s public record! The researchers admitted, “This is the finger of G‑d.”

Moses: And then what? They see a miracle, they say “What the heck …” and then a day or so passes and they’re back to attributing it to natural causes.

Me: But the people, I mean us, you know, the Children of Israel

Moses: Even they didn’t really get it.

Me: They followed you into the wilderness.

Moses: Yes. They were ripe for freedom. And they had faith. Amazing, the faith that they had. But cognitively speaking—I mean, integrating the experience into their lifestyle, reframing their self-concept and their concept of the world around them—it just didn’t do the job.

Me: I need a for-instance.

Moses: Do you know what kvetches they were?

Me: Okay, I’m getting it. You’re talking like the cognitive reframing type of thing?

The Problem With Miracles

Moses: Right. That’s the whole problem with miracles.That’s the whole problem with miracles. It’s all a big wow-bubble. You can walk away from an open miracle and continue life just the same as before. And the reason is obvious: There’s no cognition. It’s all a big wow-bubble—and it pops as fast as it appears.

Me: So you need to educate…

Moses: Tzvi, I spent 40 years educating them in Sinai. I worked hard to bring them to the point where they would reframe their entire concept of what it means to be alive, to be in a world, to think, “what is a world, anyways?” I wanted them to see, not just understand. That’s why I brought them to Mount Sinai in the first place.

Me: They didn’t see what you wanted them to see there?

Moses: Lasted 45 seconds. And then they came crying, “Please! We can’t handle it! You go find out what He wants and come back and tell us!”

Me: And 40 years later…

Moses: Forty years of eating manna, living miraculously day-by-day—all that still couldn’t bring them to realign their perception of reality. They understood. They could repeat and explain clearly everything I taught. But, look, when you’re living in a meat-and-bones body surrounded by a tangible world, your reality begins with “Well, I’m here. This world is here.” And only then do you also recognize there is something beyond all that—a higher context. But, outside of a handful of exceptional individuals, it never becomes as real as the “I’m here, this world is here” reality.

Me: Wait, how about miracles that happen in a natural way? Like Purim. The Maccabee revolt. Six-Day War. Entebbe rescue. Fall of Communism and the liberation of Russian Jewry. People have a much better handle on those ones.

Moses: Those are happening all around us. And, when you think of it, they are the greatest of miracles.

Me: Not as great as splitting the sea or fireballs of ice falling from heaven.

Moses: Way greater. To make an open miracle, you just need to fiddle around with the inner workings of the cosmos and push natural law to the side. Piece of cake. For a natural miracle, you have to keep the restrictions of natural law intact while driving them along with a totally unrestricted agenda. In other words, G‑d gets whatever He wants without breaking any of the rules. That’s an unlimited force within a limited system. Find something more amazing than that.

Me: So those are good. Maybe we need more…

Moses: And what do people say? They say, “Oh, that was neat. Everything worked out in the end.” Maybe even, “Thank G‑d.” And they go back to business as usual. They just saw something in their own lives that should have shaken to the core every concept they have of reality. But no, nothing changes.

Me: So in natural miracles, they understand the whole sequence of events. They do get it.

Moses: Right. But they don’t see the miracle.

Me: So it’s one of two: Either they see the miracle, but it makes no sense to them so they don’t cognate a thing; or they get how it all works, but they don’t see the miracle. In other words, you’re saying the miracle path is ineffective.

Moses: Not necessarily. I’m saying that we can’t just do a repeat and expect better results this time.

Reframing the World

Me: But there will be miracles. You can’t let us down. There are clearly recorded prophecies of miracles that are read every year in synagogues everywhere. Like the one about splitting the Euphrates into seven streams—that's going to make splitting the Red Sea look like a rabbit-out-of-a-hat trick. Then there’s the wolf-lamb symbiosis thing. And resurrection of the dead isn’t exactly standard medical procedure. I’m sure you’ll have a major piece of the action with all those miracles.

Moses: Listen carefully:The point is not the miracles. The point is seeing the miracles. The point is not the miracles. The point is seeing the miracles. Really getting what’s going on in a miracle. Talk about prophets—Michah said it: “As the days when you left Egypt, I will show them wonders.” (Micah 7:15) Not make wonders. Show wonders. Bring the wondrous into the realm of human perception and cognition.

Me: Hey, I never noticed that nuance there…

Moses: And once that happens—the entire mindset of the world shifts. None of the evils you see around you could possibly continue to exist. When you really get—like, totally cognate to the point that your physical eyes see—that your own existence is sustained moment by moment out of pure divine love, with purpose and meaning, so you’re totally humbled by that. When you see the world as a divine creation over which you’ve been assigned stewardship, you don’t go pumping toxins into its arteries and lungs. When you see clearly, really digest and absorb, what a miracle life really is and how each individual is an entire world, you respect those lives, you treat them with dignity.

Me: So we need people to both see the miracle and get it too. I just didn’t know that it’s possible to “get” a miracle. I thought they’re inherently wondrous and that’s it.

Moses: They’re only impossible to get if you’re stuck up with your closed-system world model that doesn’t allow in wonder without having to dissect it to death. As soon as you see the world as a creation, renewed out of the void at every moment by a transcendent consciousness, then miracles are totally gettable.

Me: Then this is not going to work. People are hyper-materialistic today, Moses. There’s matter, there’s energy, a couple of laws of physics, and that explains everything. Talk about consciousness, transcendence—never mind G‑d—and you’ve lost them.

Beyond Glowing Pixels

Moses: So they’ve abandoned all the deities of the ancestors. They’re seeking a oneness throughout the universe. That’s good. Less idols to smash. Now, when they see sustained, observable miracles that they’re going to have to take seriously, they’ll have to reconsider their paradigm. They’ll realize that the matter-and-energy reductionist model is as deep as Mario reducing his world to glowing pixels. They’ll see that there’s a sublimely higher consciousness behind that energy and matter. It will become empirically undeniable.

Me: And you think it will get published?

Moses: The world is ready. Every miracle that has happened since Egypt has subliminally prepared the world a little more. And these mitzvah things, they are also subversive strategies—like miracles in people’s hands. They were planted in the world so that people would slowly chip away at the façade of a closed-system universe from the inside. And especially when Jews are challenged by their environment and yet persist in these mitzvahs against all odds, they drastically weaken the stranglehold of the so-called laws of nature. Take a look: The very existence of Jews today is totally supernatural. That’s a tough one to deny.

Me: So getting back to your strategy…

Moses: Two things will happen. People will see these wonders that will make the Egypt–Exodus miracles look like card tricks, and they will understand that there is a higher consciousness to the universe, a singular substrate to all existence. They’ll approach it as a science.

Me: Cognition. But kind of pantheistic.

Moses: Then they’ll have to reframe all of science within this new paradigm, so that they will see that space-time, matter and energy fields are just artifacts of that deeper singularity. They don’t really have any existence of their own.

Me: So now they’ll have gotten a totally transcendent idea. The Creator, totally beyond the creation.

Moses: No. Not completely. Not until they recognize the ultimate wonder—those miracles that are sewn seamlessly into physics. Because that’s where you see a G‑d who is so totally boundless that He can operate freely within any bounds.

Me: So everything will be understood. All the wonders. You’ll reduce it all to textbook material. Trivia. What will be left to wonder about?

Moses: There’s always more and more wonder. The larger the island of your understanding, the greater the perimeter of your beach to the endless sea of wonder. And besides, the truly great wonder will not be the miracles, the prophecies or the wonders.The truly great wonder will be that there is a world. The truly great wonder will be that there is a world.

Me: Hey, I can imagine having to deal with people who get miracles, but deny the world exists—sort of the inverse of atheists.

Moses: But the normal, default experience will be to see that there is really nothing else but a Singularity that transcends all bounds, and that Singularity is the truth of all that exists.

Me: So when is this all happening? How soon?

Moses: It’s late already. Real late. Let’s start now.

Based on the Maamarim Kimei Tzeitcha of 5712 and 5738.