The “Miracle Question”

Messages from Chinuch Research Center

As a Yiddish parent or educator, you want to inspire hope and optimism in your children and students.

You want to help them clarify their goals and take concrete steps towards achieving their desired future.

That is where the Miracle Question comes in.

The Miracle Question is a powerful tool for promoting positive change and growth with Hashem’s help. This simple yet

effective technique encourages individuals to envision their ideal future and identify the steps

needed to make it a reality. The Miracle Question is a valuable tool for anyone looking to promote positive change and

growth in themselves or others. That’s why the Chinuch Resource Center is recommended. So why not give it a try? You may be surprised at the results.


The “Miracle Question”

The Miracle Question is a powerful tool designed to help children envision a future, with Hashem’s guidance, where their problems have been resolved. They are also guided to be able to identify the necessary steps to take in order to achieve that future.

The benefits of the Miracle Question are numerous. First, it helps children focus on solutions rather than on problems. Asking them to imagine a future where their problems have been resolved encourages them to think creatively and identify new possibilities for change.

Second, the Miracle Question can help children feel more hopeful and optimistic about their future. By envisioning a positive outcome, they can begin to believe that change is possible and that they have the power to make it happen.

Finally, the Miracle Question can help children identify concrete steps to take in order to achieve their desired future. By breaking down the process into manageable steps, children can begin to take action and make progress toward their goals.

Overall, the Miracle Question is a valuable tool for promoting positive change and growth.

A Rebbi (or parent) can play an important role in this exercise. When the Rebbi is working with a student, he should use a bit of drama to awaken the student’s imagination. The rabbi might say something like, “Imagine, after class, you go home to do whatever you had planned for the rest of the day. Then, later, you get tired and go to sleep. In the middle of the night, a נס happens, and the problem that you had today is resolved instantly. However, since the נס happened overnight while you were asleep, you don’t know for certain that it actually happened. When you wake up the next morning, how will you realize that the נס happened? What other details will you notice?”

This Miracle Question can be asked in a variety of ways. You should word the phrasing accordingly to suit yourself (rebbi or parent), the child, and the situation. Below are some examples of how the Miracle Question can be phrased.

1. Waving the magic wand :

A question for the child: “Suppose I had a magic wand. By waving my wand, I could make this problem disappear. As you go back to school, how would you notice that the magic is working?” The Rebbi could use the “magic wand” question instead of the Miracle Question when working with younger children who may not understand the concept of a miracle.

2.     Snapping your fingers:

Suppose that simply by snapping his fingers, the rebbi (or parent) could make a child’s problem disappear, or he could teach the child the skill he needs. If this were possible, what might be the first opportunity for the child to test if the snap works? What is an example of a situation in which the child would be able to find out whether the problem is gone or not?

3.      Follow-up meeting:

A question for the child: “Let’s say that a follow-up meeting will take place two months from now. What would you be saying in that meeting if you’d be convinced that this project has been truly successful? What ideas would you like to share with your rebbi (or parent)?”

4.     A Chanuka present:

A question for the child: “Chanuka is only two months away. Suppose this year your parents would bring you a special Chanuka present that would make you happy. It would not be a book, or game, or something like that. It would be something that would make a real change in your life. What would that present be?” If the child cannot come up with anything significant, it might be helpful for the rebbi (or parent) to guide the child in expressing his likes and dislikes.

5. Suppose we happen to meet:

A question for the child: “Suppose I meet you in town next summer in one of the shuls, and you’d be sitting outside and having some ice cream. I would notice that you look happy, and I would come over and ask how you are. You would say that, BH, you are doing very well and that you are happy. I would naturally become curious and ask you to give me some details. What would you tell me?”

6 Through the grapevine:

A question for the child: “Suppose I bumped into a family member, say your mother, father, sister, or brother, just a couple weeks from now. What do you imagine that person would tell me?”

7. Surprise me:

A question for the child: “Suppose you want to show that you are making real progress, but you want to do this through some surprise, fun action. What would you do? Here’s your chance to be creative!”

8.    The treatment

To the rebbi (or parent): Imagine a situation where a child says he is going to start some treatment or therapy. You respond by saying, “Suppose this treatment will be helpful to you, and as you say, many have already BH been helped by this treatment. What will be the first sign for you that the treatment is having a positive effect? What would further show you that the treatment is making a major difference in your life?”

9.   The injection:

A question for the child: “Let’s say that I am a doctor and can give you injections. Suppose I would give you an injection that would give you the strength and ability to do whatever it is that you need to do to overcome your problem. Would you say yes to such an injection? And more, suppose the injection is effective and without side effects apart from a little soreness on your shoulder muscle. How soon would realize that the injection is working? What would show you that the injection is actually working?”

10.    The miraculous brain:

A question for the child: “The נס of the brain is that it can almost always heal itself from difficult experiences. Next year, when you will look back at this day, you will probably be surprised at the changes that you have gradually made. Where do you hope to be at that point in time? What would show you that, yes, your brain has done the job for you?”

What do you do after the Miracle Question?

The Miracle Question is not a stand-alone tactic. The Miracle Question needs to be bundled up with other questions in order to help a child discover strategies for empowering himself and making his miracle vision come true.