Taanis 21 B has two stories about regular people being credited with saving a community rather than the presence of rabbi. The first story is about a neighborhood in a town that is saved from pestilence despite other areas being stricken. The talmud says it is NOT due to the presence of a great Rabbi, but to the man who lent out his shovel to bury the dead.
The second story about a town which was free of fires. Again, the credit do NOT go to the presence of a great Rabbi, but rather to a women who lends out her oven so all can cook.
The SD would like to chime in. Neither situation is a great miracle or unexplainable. In the first situation, burying dead stops the spread of pestilence and disease. Clearly, by lending his shovel and allowing the dead to be buried, his act of kindness saves the community. It is not miraculous or a credit to the presence of a great rabbi but science.
The second story is equally logical. The person who lends her oven prevents fires from being started in houses which have no proper ovens. Again, common sense. These two stories demonstrate that kindness and mercy within the natural order of the world gives the appearance and effect of a miracle
Today is the Fifth day of Chanukah. Chanukah is about miracles. These two stories demonstrate that kindness is transformative. It allows normative and logical acts and behavior to be miraculous.
Classic Shikker Dovid! A combination of religious faith and streetsmart common sense that very few people possess enough to “darshon” such a meaningful insight to life from the daily daf.
May you always share such gemstones of wisdom with us.
With much respect and admiration
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