Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Holy people transcend and can change Nature

 Sefer HaIkkarim (1:21) We do find that the devotees of the Torah came into such close intellectual union with God that they were able to change the laws of nature, cause the latter to do their bidding and perform miracles against the laws of nature. Thus we find that the prophets proposed and God carried out their proposals. Elijah caused fire to descend, which is contrary to its own nature. He said, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven …, and it was so. He also divided the waters of the Jordan. Elisha cured Naaman’s leprosy and brought a dead body back to life during his own life time and also after his death. Many such incidents happened to him and the other prophets. The same thing is true of all believers. Pious men, even if they are not prophets, can change the laws of nature by prayer. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were cast into the fire and were not burned. Rabbi Hanina the son of Dosa and Rabbi Phinehas the son of Yair made certain temporary changes in the nature and conduct of the world.

Sefer HaIkkarim (1:21) This shows that one who believes in God and in His Torah is above nature and not subject to natural law. On the contrary, the laws of nature are subject to him, and he can change them as he pleases. 


  1. Actually conflicts with the Ramban who says that all reward and punishment are above nature.

  2. Have to think about this very carefully -
    sometimes everything happens to work in one's favour, and other times, chas v'shalom, not.
    So does that occure because of zchus or belief in Torah / or the opposite for lack of belief?

  3. the simple answer is since we don't know we are to assume that everything is done with due concern for justice

  4. the "smallest" sin or mitzvah can be amplified in this world to create a heaven or hell. Otherwise, the world is in chaos - as Koheleth observes, yet he still concludes that we should kep the mitzvot, this is all we have.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.