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Friday, February 1, 2013


Hashem gave us a beautiful world to enjoy and savor. Magnificence is all around us, we need only to open up our eyes. Besides the inherent loveliness within nature, nature is also there for us to learn from by examining different natural phenomena. Chazal says that we can sometimes learn how to conduct ourselves by observing the behavioral patterns in animals.

Let’s have a look at two types of mice, and from these “mice-sers,” let’s see what we can learn .

The first is the Yaaron which  is actually the little field mice we probably all know. They are actually quite cute, that is if they don’t show up in your kitchen cabinet. This type of mouse has prominent ears, a long tail, and two long hind legs that allow him to jump.

These mice inhabit forests, grasslands, and cultivated fields. Almost entirely nocturnal, they are mainly active during the dark, and are very good climbers. They have extremely small but sharp claws which help them burrow extensively and build nests.

This mouse has been proven to be extremely intelligent. If given time, it will think out a strategy before doing something. It judges whether or not it is too risky, dangerous or useless to do something. These mice also look out for each other and call each other to eat if they have found food. The Gemorah says this trait marks them as rashaim since they do not take into consideration if the food-stocks they discovered belong to someone else before they invite their friends to party. 

 The Yaaron are primarily seedeaters, and in winter in deciduous woodland, they will eat acorns and sycamore seeds. They carry the seeds and acorns back to their burrows for storage.

The acorns are heavy seeds and they usually fall near the mother tree where they would not be able to grow into another “big” tree. The fact that the Yaaron mouse takes the acorns to its nest and then discards them allows oak trees to multiply.

This wonderful symbiosis (interaction between two or more different biological species that benefits both of them) is found many times in nature. It can instruct us how to help others, even if they differ from, so that all of us can benefit.

The second kind of mouse is more of a rat, called Chuldah HaAliyah.
It eats pinecones. We find two types of gnawed upon pinecones. One that has tidy-rings around it and the other is chewed in a number of different places in a jumbled way.

Now a disciplined young rat listens to his mother who shows him to eat the pinecone from the top going around downwards in circles until the bottom. This is the best way to access the sweet pine-seeds. However, if this rat is rebellious, as some of them are, he will eat the pinecone any-which-way, and he will go hungry even after much hard work.  Take this to heart: In life choose the paved and proven road that has been tread by previous generations in order to achieve sweet success.  

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