What can you control and what can’t you control? This question is at the nexus of free will, and, in fact, the Divine. Feeling we know those things we can’t control, and what they entail, opens a door to 1/60th of a miracle.
Astrology is one representation of this question - it posits a relationship between the movement of the planets in the sky and thematic, energetic shifts in our world. This provides a way to forecast that which can't be controlled.
This was, in many cultures, a basically accepted reality for a very long time. Jewish culture is no different. In this week’s Torah portion, Vaera, we find that God introduces God’s self to Moses with a name that had not been used in relationship with the patriarchs.
Many of our commentators take this to mean something specific: This form being revealed to Moses is one that can, and will, overcome the normal machinations of the universe. The ongoing clockwork of the cosmos can be disrupted by it. Some of the commentators say that this is about God overcoming astrological forces, contravening them, placing God above and beyond them. Some say that it is simply God’s power being witnessed by all the world, changing all peoples’ understanding of the cosmos irrevocably. 5/9
The idea here is that God is intervening in the world in a way that is not normal. No one could have expected it or forecast it, and in doing so, God is rattling humanity’s conception of reality. In particular, this bonds God and the people Israel in covenant. When we locate what we can’t control we locate the realm of the Divine. That which is beyond our control seems inevitable, but the Torah tells us it can change at a moment’s notice. This change is 1/60th of a miracle - it is the aspect of God revealed to Moses this week.
No matter the straits we find ourselves in today, our Torah teaches us that we never know how things might change. It is wise to remember that we can’t know for certain what will come next. Our Torah’s message is just that. All we can know is that our ancestors discovered in the Divine energy behind creation a force for liberation - a force for Good, which values all human life, and abhors oppression. And that this is the binding element of the people Israel.