Save the Whales?

Thursday, 9 November, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Our family loves animals. Were it not for my opposition, they would’ve had a pet dog long ago. Last week, before we merited the below zero temperatures and bombardment of snow, as the kids were playing in the front yard, I heard Chaya telling Menny to refrain from killing an insect because “you’re taking its life away and they want to live too” (I will not share Menny’s response :)). I guess, when living out west, in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, surrounded by deer, elk, moose, bison, bears and occasional mountain lions, it gives us an opportunity to be more in tune and sensitive, not only to nature, but to the magnificent animal kingdom.

In this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, we read of Abraham’s search for a suitable bride for his beloved Isaac. He sends his servant Eliezer to his ancestral hometown, in modern day Syria, and Eliezer settles near the local well, a popular meeting spot. He asks G-d to preform the following sign: Whichever of the young maidens will offer to give his camels water in addition to quenching his own thirst “her have You designated for Your servant, for Isaac, and through her may I know that You have performed loving kindness with my master”. He wasn’t testing her on how often she visited the sick, helped the poor, studied Torah or her devotion to honoring her father and mother; the test was simply whether she expressed kindness to animals or not and Rebecca passed the test.

This is not a plea for everyone to become vegan or join PETA, as Judaism has its own unique approach to food consumption and treatment of animals. Yet, it is a reminder that our sensitivity to animals reflects who we are and whether we are kind or cruel human beings. Sadly, there are those in our world that would hurt an animal before a human, simply because there’s a better chance they won’t end up in prison. Yet, for us, prison or expensive fines aren’t the barometer. The Psalmist says in the Ashrei prayer “His mercies extend over all His work”.

Save yourself, be nice to a whale!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!! 

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