In this week's Torah portion, Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32), the ground opens up and swallows rebels, insurrectionists are immolated from a Heavenly fire, and a dessicated stick miraculously blossoms - all to show God's power and God's chosen leaders. Then, in the Haftarah (I Samuel 11:14-12:22), God sends a storm - for the exact same purpose. In the time of Moses and Aaron, the leaders were extraordinary prophets, and the miracles defied nature. In the time of Samuel, the announced leader was to be an ordinary king, like that of any other nation, and the miracle was nature - a storm, albeit out of season. We don't need the ground to open up or the sea to part to stand in awe of Creation and God's miracles. A thunderstorm, a flesh-and-blood leader who will follow Torah principles, are miracles enough.
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