Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Bilam's Talking Horse... Could it be?!

It may not be that time of year when we read about Bilam's talking donkey, but coming across this video made me reconsider just how amazing some of G-d's creatures really are. Of course, they are all amazing! But every now and again, one of them stands out just a little more. I'm at a loss in understanding how such animals work. You may have better ideas than I do about why they behave as they do. But the evidence of such amazing behaviour is becoming clearer and clearer as the days go by. With thanks to video cameras, the Internet and people who simply want to share amazing stories - we are privileged to live in a generation that can look around at creation on a daily basis and be constantly in awe of the creations of the Creator.

I often consider the Gemara in Tractate Brachot that speaks about how King David would sleep - but would not sleep - much like a horse does. I've never really watched how horses sleep and am no authority, but watching this horse has definitely given a new insight into the way in which some horses might indeed sleep! It's unique... it's really special.

I wonder what the Mussar greats like the Chovot HaLevavot would have to say when seeing such wonders of the world. Their books are constantly filled with the thoughts we must internalise as we look around us and be in constant awe of G-d. Sometimes, we get lazy! We see the sky every day, the moon and the stars, and we lose track of the amazing novelty of the sun rising and setting each day. Do we really care?! Does it make us any closer to G-d?! Of course if it was a once off we'd be in amazement! But every day?! Does that actually prove that G-d exists?! The Mussar authorities teach us to take note of every wonder of the world - even when we see it every day, because in fact, everything is indeed a wonder pointing to the Artist who created it.

When of course we get a glimpse - every now and again - into something a little more unusual, this should spur us on into seeing G-d in creation and allowing us to throw off any crazy ideas we have that everything in the world simply exists - just because it does! Bang or not!

So... a horse is a horse is a horse... or is it?!

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