The Israelites are warned against falling prey to “miracles” performed by false prophets. Says the Torah (Deut. 13:2-4) 
“If there should rise up among you a prophet or dreamer of dreams and offer a sign or a miracle. And the (predicted) sign or miracle should then occur of which he has told you, and he says to you, ‘Let us go after other gods whom you do not know and worship them.’ 
Do not listen to the words of this prophet or dreamer of dreams because it is God who is testing you to know if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” 
  Rabbi Yehudah Appel explains: The Torah is warning us: Despite the seeming evidence that a magician may offer, if they contradict the Torah, then their ministrations are to be ignored. One who is loyal and whole with God will not be swayed by demonstrations that are contrary to God’s commands.
See I put before you today a blessing and a curse” (Deut. 11:26). This is a poignant phrase from a densely evocative section of the Torah. What is a curse? What is a blessing? Why is so much of life an enigmatic mixture of the two?
Rabbi Max Weiman shares the following insight: “When you have a pain in your elbow, you are in discomfort and want the pain to go away. But the pain is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem. Maybe there’s an inflammation, a cyst, or something worse. If you don’t experience any pain, you would not go to the doctor to find out what is wrong, and the problem could escalate or be fatal. So the next time you feel a pain, say “Thank God I feel pain!” Because if you didn’t feel the pain, you’d be in for a worse problem. Life has many situations that seem bad on the surface, but a deeper look reveals a true benefit. We can’t be short-sighted or superficial. We need to always be on the lookout for a benefit hidden within a problem. That’s part of being wise – looking past the surface. In some ways, the nature of the universe forces an illusion of God’s non-existence. He is hidden, though He permeates everything. This is the way He designed it. We don’t automatically recognize Him. However by looking for Him, we gain merit. By working out intellectually how there has to be an Infinite Creator, we develop a more personal and more powerful understanding of God than if it were given to us without any work.” Prepared by Devorah Abenhaim

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