Finding comfort and strength in our history of miracles


This column was challenging and somewhat painful to write in light of the Israel-Hamas war causing so much death and destruction. So I went to the Bible, other writings, and history for inspiration, and found some hopeful answers in the miracles our Jewish people have witnessed through the ages.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech wrote a compelling article, posted at, titled “Miracles, Human and Divine,” where he refers to the following miracles:

“Passover, the ten plagues, the splitting of the Red Sea for the Israelites, the subsequent drowning of the Egyptians on what had just moments before been dry land. …

“The same is true for Shavuot, when the children of Israel amazingly stood under the mountain of Sinai suspended over their heads and not only heard but marvelously saw the words of God as they received the Ten Commandments. …

“[The same is true for] Sukkot, commemorating the survival of the Jews as they wandered for 40 years in the desert, sustained only by miraculously granted food and water and protected by divine clouds of glory.”

Blech goes on to write about Purim, when Esther and her uncle Mordecai faced the peril of the first recorded attempt at genocide, but responded with heroism and triumphed.

And then, of course, there is Hanukkah, when the Maccabees, a small, deeply spiritual family,  led a successful revolt against an empire.

Then there is today, when the Jews in Israel face ongoing terrorism, rising antisemitism and war.  These people are all miraculous in their faith and belief that Jews will survive and thrive.

There are about 9 million Jews in Israel and 14 million Jews around the world, representing 0.2% of the global population. Israel has accomplished amazing things in its 75 years of existence, including becoming a global leader in technology and start-ups.

Rabbi Blech says it so well: “We Jews have attained spiritual heights that transcend the expected, of human beings creating real miracles because they used our God-given gifts of courage, faith and wisdom.”

I especially like a sentence that is in bold type in Blech’s article: “Our role on earth is not simply to pray for a miracle but rather to be a miracle.”

During this time of war, we need to call on our miracles and be miracles. Based on our miraculous track record, we will prevail.

Keeping all of our miracles in mind, I wish you a very happy Hanukkah.

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is an award-winning radio producer, business owner and leader.  She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence, and is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award. Her “Positive Aging with Patricia Raskin” podcast is broadcast on the Rhode Island PBS website,

Patricia Raskin, Healthy Living