March 31, 2005
The Ugly Bug Ball
In Parshat Shemini, we learn which animals are kosher. A young friend of mine asked: Why did God create both kosher and non-kosher animals? The sages of the Talmud ask the same question. They said there is something we can learn from every animal – kosher or not.
For example, the Sages say we can learn honesty and industriousness from an ant. Ants are hardworking, and they are "honest" in that they don't steal from each other.
King David tried to uncover the meaning behind each animal and he succeeded – but he couldn't figure out the spider. So, God showed King David how the spider could even save a life. When running for his life from King Saul, David hid in a cave. King Saul and his soldiers were searching everywhere. God sent a spider to spin a web over the opening of the cave in which David was hiding. When the soldiers came to his cave and saw it was covered with a spider's web, they moved straight past, not realizing that the web was freshly made.
All Creatures Great and Small
Did You Know?
The word for "kindness" in Hebrew is chesed. In the Torah, the Hebrew word for stork is chasida. The rabbis say that the stork was given this name because this bird is very kind and generous with its food and shares with other birds.
1. Where are koala bears from?
a) United States
2. Whales and dolphins are large fish.
3. What is the largest flying bird alive today?
a) Bald eagle
Answers From Last Week
Tell Me a Story: Hamantaschen