Let's table the discussion" is a new Adath Israel Shul initiative where a story or thought is presented in order to stimulate exciting and constructive discussion around our Shabbos table or among friends and children. (Dedicated to the Refuah Sheleima of Shalva Adina Bas Sarah Chana & Eliyahu Aharon Ben Yocheved Yetta Ettel).
A certain Jewish male was entering the field of agriculture. He was financing his needs for his first farm and discovered that he needed a means of pulling heavy loads. While owning trucks would have been most helpful, the cost of the gas and maintenance seemed prohibitive. Thus, he opted for the old fashioned way and decided to seek a donkey to assist him.
He gazed up to the heavens and offered a sincere prayer; “Hashem, please send me a donkey.”
As he stood with his arms outstretched, an amazing thing happened. A certain non-Jewish neighbor passed by, riding on a pregnant donkey. The donkey lay down and gave birth there on the spot. The owner was so surprised he almost passed out from the shock! He quickly realized that the young donkey could not walk and needed to be carried. Looking around he saw the Jewish farmer off to the side. He ordered the man to carry the newborn back to the barn.
As our Jewish farmer carried his new burden, he continued his prayer; “Hashem, I asked you to send me a donkey and you answered me. But I made my request so that I could ride on it – not so that it could ride on me!”
Commenting on the Torah’s prohibition of Kilayim (plowing with an ox and a donkey at the same time), the Chida notes that it is interesting that a human is not Kilayim with an animal and is indeed allowed to help with the plowing process. Why?
The Chida explains that if man were not able to work with an animal, most of us would never get to work. For within each of us is a spiritual Godly side and an animalistic soul with killer intentions and earthly desire. Rav Volch adds that when we combine the human and animal aspects of our makeup together we need to be sure to have the human coming out on top – instead of being led by the animal.
As our children go back to school and we prepare for a new year, what goals do we want to achieve for them and for us? How do we keep our desires and goals focused s that the spiritual side guides our passions and actions in a positive way?
How can we set our physical and spiritual goals in order in a complete, meaningful package?
How do we want to implement those goals?
Let’s “table” the discussion – by discussing it with our children, spouses, families and guests and open an exciting discussion into our homes and communities.