Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Unity, Care and Kindness


Imagine a world made up of only good things. A world in which even the vocabulary of languages consisted of only good words. Imagine this world for a moment… It would be a world of unity, of care, of kindness. It would be a world of sensitivity, connection. A world where even the word "judgment" would not exist, because each creature would see only the goodness of the other. Each creature would feel only a connection to another. Each creature would want nothing more than to care and be kind to the other.

With a kick back into the world of reality – the world of humans. One in which one man will swallow his fellow alive. A world where a fellow Jew will watch gleefully as the other cries over their financial difficulties, looking forward to taking even more than their own dues. Isn't it a wonder that man has not yet learned to internalise such words as unity, care and kindness?

Even with visible pain showing, man will often do his best to continue his afflictions upon another. Who cares?! And… isn't *this* kindness?! And after all, this is really what unity is all about – while one gains immensely from the pain of the other, the other loses, emotionally, financially, mentally and more. This is true unity then – isn't it?!

And yet, G-d has created animals in the world. Animals whose most basic instincts contain the values of true unity, care and kindness – without even a thought of an ulterior gain. The lion only roars and claws it's prey when it is hungry… but it has no choice. When it is sated however, it has no need to attack – certainly not just for the sake of "more".

Who would think that an elephant could be gentle?! Who would think that a small dog could trust the weight of an elephant upon it?! Who would think they could be friends?! To care for each other – dare we say love each other?! They certainly wouldn't make it if they were clothed in human bodies (with human tongues) – as the "elephant" would delight in the pain it could inflict on the small "dog."

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that one must learn from everything one sees and hears – to add this into one's own service of G-d, to improve one's ways. And indeed, the Torah teaches that were it not for the Torah, we would have to learn from animals. Perhaps were the Torah speaking alive today (not being the closed book it apparently often is,) it may well teach something even stronger. If anything – turn first to the animals (it might say!) and see how they behave and learn from them. And after one has satiated oneself with the values of "animals", one may turn to the Torah, ready to understand now what it actually means to be a human – let alone a Jew.

Actions speak louder than words – of course. And a picture is worth more than 1000 words. So sit back and enjoy this video. Close your latest Torah thriller, and absorb the values of true kindness, care and unity contained in this short video clip. Perhaps it will make a change in you for the better. Perhaps it will awaken a spark inside of you that says, "If an animal can behave like this… then surely, at the very least, I can live my life as an animal – if nothing greater."

Isn't it truly odd… how animals can be so much greater than humans?!

For another article on this same subject with video, see:

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