Dreaming of Moshiach

Monday, October 16, 2006

Learning from Animals

Had we not received the Torah, we would have been able to learn different manners from other sources. [+/-] show/hide text
Gemara gives four examples of animals whose traits and actions we could have learned just by observing them. מלפנו מבהמות ארץ ומעוף השמים יחכמנו

Cat - אלמלי לא ניתנה תורה לישראל למדנו צניעות מחתול
We learn from the cat modesty. The cat does not attend to its private needs in public, and she covers her wastes.

Dove - למדנו...ועריות מיונה
The dove only has one mate during his entire life – she never drops him for another one. Even after one of the mate dies, the other one will never find a new mate. Their union is total and everlasting.

Frog - שמסרו עצמן על קדושת השם לתוך כבשן האש ...ומה צפרדעים שאינן מצווין על קדושת השם
They gave up their lives and went into the fires Al Kiddush HaShem. The frog’s purpose in the world is to die for the Will of HaShem.

Ant - “Go to the ant you lazy one, consider her ways and become wise. She has no ruler or overseer, yet she prepares her sustenance in the summer, gathering in her food during the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)
We learn from the ant intelligence, quickness, and not to steal

Intelligence - The ant digs three holes in the ground in which she can theoretically store her food. She does not store her grain in the upper hole – for fear of a leak from the rain, and she does not store her grain in the lowest hole – for fear that the water absorbed by the earth will ruin it. She stores her food in the middle hole so that it will remain dry.

Quickness - The ant only consumes about one and a half grains of wheat her whole life,yet she collects so much, so early.

Does not steal - An ant who dropped a grain, all other ants come to smell it, thinking it was theirs. None of them will take it though. Only the one to whom it belonged will came back, smell it, and carry it off.

The ant believes that everything is from HaShem – including livlihood, therefore she does not steal. It is as if she does not want to get pleasure from that which HaShem gave to her friend. The ant runs away from stealing, therefore HaShem gives her strength to collect more and more.

Every object on this earth has a ministering angel above it; the ministering angel controls its actions. The reasoning behind the ant’s actions is her ministering angel. Everything she does – by collecting and storing so much food – is because her ministering angel is anxiously awaiting and looking forward to life without death, which will come in the time of Moshiach. All of her quickness is for life after this world, therefore she rushes to collect as much as possible.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו