There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

The story of Passover, more than any other Jewish holiday, is all about miracles. A burning bush. A staff that turns into a serpent. Ten plaques, each one worse than the previous one. The parting of the Red Sea. Manna coming down from heaven. Moses receiving the Torah.

I have experienced what I consider miracles in my own life. Meeting Larry at a Purim party over fifty years ago. Holding our son and, three years later, our daughter, in our arms. Seeing flashes of ourselves and our children in our three beautiful grandchildren.

Just this past month, I experienced my own mini-miracle. On my fiftieth birthday, Larry gave me a pair of diamond earrings. Once I had second holes pierced into my ears, I put them on and only took them off to clean them. About ten years ago, I lost one of them when the backing came off. Six months and one earring replacement later, Larry found it when he swept our garage. I happily chalked it off to an amazing stroke of good fortune.

I thought my luck ran out on Friday, March 31st. While eating dinner at a restaurant with friends, I realized that I had lost one of my diamond earrings again. I had no idea when and where. In the middle of the night? During an aerobic session at the Palms, our community’s recreation center? An hour later, while doing laps in the community pool? That evening, walking into the restaurant? Or anytime in the last week, the last time I remember feeling it on my earlobe?

I made a couple of phone calls to the appropriate places and did a thorough sweep of my house, car, and garage. I then resigned myself to ever seeing it again. I tried to be philosophical. It’s only stuff, I told myself. Friends had lost their entire house to a fire a year ago and were yet to even have a roof. Other friends had lost spouses and—worse yet—children to illness and accidents and suicide. I certainly was going to get past a lost earring.

Exactly a week to almost the moment that I felt that empty space on my earlobe, as we members of Congregation Shalom were settling into our seats for the Shabbat services, my phone rang. “Marilyn, this is Anita at the Palms. I want to let you know that we found your earring!” A cleaning person, who was ironically on her last night on the job before moving an hour away, found my earring stuck in her mop. When I picked it up the next day, the backing was obviously missing and the post was bent. But my diamond was still intact. Luck? No, I consider someone finding my earring—and turning it in to lost and found— a miracle.

More importantly, through my writing, I have been able to share stories of other people’s miracles. My great aunt Lillian Waldman was fired from her job at the Triangle shirtwaist factory a week before a tragic fire snuffed out the lives of 146 garment workers. Born and raised in Bialystok, Poland, Harry Oshinsky faced innumerable obstacles as he navigated a three year journey over three continents, arriving in Brooklyn, New York in 1916.

Along with immigrants’ stories, I also shared miraculous stories from World War II and the Holocaust. United States Army soldier Melvin Weissman survived a plane crash and the subsequent sixteen months in a German POW camp, using his knowledge of Yiddish to provide needed information to his fellow prisoners. Galina “Golda” Goldin Gelfer and her father spent two years hiding in a Russian forest with Soviet partisans, living as did the real-life Jews portrayed in the 2008 movie Defiance. Seven-year-old Estelle Feld Nadel, hours away from being deported to Auschwitz after being captured by Nazis, escaped from a prison cell and found shelter and refuge in the home of Righteous Gentiles. By his own account, Albert Kitmacher credited his survival during the Holocaust with five miracles that snatched him out of the jaws of death. Eva Geringer Schloss, along with her mother, survived Auschwitz/Birkenau and recently held her first great-grandchild.

As I write this, parts of the North America  are now experiencing a total eclipse. Scientists can provide a logical, calculated explanation, but even they were celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime moment. Dr. Charles Liu, Graduate College/Staten Island, called the totality of the April 8, 2024, event nothing short of a ridiculous coincidence of cosmic proportions. The astrophysicist, an award winning educator who hosts the LIUniverse podcast, offered up on YouTube his own rendition of a Cat Stevens song: “We are going to see a moon shadow, moon shadow, moon shadow. Looking and laughing in a moon shadow.

Moses and the Israelites may have experienced a solar eclipse through the ninth plague. God tells Moses, “ Hold out your arm toward the sky that there may be a darkness upon the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be touched” (Exodus 21) to stretch forth his hand that a darkness might be placed over Egypt, a darkness that could be felt.”  The darkness encompassed the Egyptians for three days, but the Israelites “enjoyed light in the dwellings. In those circumstances, the eclipse must have been viewed it as a miracle, a message from God.

No matter what, this Passover, I will hope for miracles. I hope that my friends who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer will go into complete remission. I hope that scientists will find a way to deal with climate change and global warning. And most of all, I hope for the miracle of peace in the Middle East and the world. Shalom. Chag Sameach.

Tanakh. The Jewish Publication Society. Philadelphia 1985.

Article by Author/s
Marilyn Shapiro
Marilyn Cohen Shapiro, a resident of Kissimmee, FL, is a regular contributor to the (Capital Region NY) Jewish World and the Orlando Heritage Florida Jewish News. She is the author of two compilation of her stories, There Goes My Heart (2016) and Tikkun Olam: Stories of Repairing an Unkind World. (2018). Both books available in paperback and e-book format on Amazon. You can read more of her stories on her blog,

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