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Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Tashlich, water, and ducks beyond the pond

Where I live in the greater Monsey area, we've got plenty of water - ponds, streams, brooks, lakes - you name it. We also have hundreds of Canada geese - large and aggressive animals that can render any street, yard, or playing field useless with their copious excreta.

But that's not what I'm writing about, really.

When I was walking to shul on Shabbos Shuva, it was raining rather heavily. I passed the pond in Willow Tree Park, and noticed that all the ducks and geese were standing on the grass - not swimming in the water. They all seemed to be at "attention" stance - standing up straight and enjoying the rain, in some fashion.

And that's when I thought of the pasuk that we read at the end of Tashlich. "... For all the land will be filled with knowledge of Hashem, as water covers the sea."

And it made sense to me. When water's everywhere, waterfowl don't need to be in the water. They can even be on land - God has essentially extended their comfort zone beyond the pond.

And that's an apt metaphor for Torah Judaism. Right now, we have to be confined to our little ponds and lakes in order to be completely ensconced in a Torah environment. If we venture out, we're entering a foreign zone that's not completely hospitable to our needs. But when daas Hashem fills the whole world, we'll be able to venture freely.

Now, I know traditional literature talks more about Jews needing Torah like fish need water, but that wouldn't work with my story, would it? I'm still thinking about that...

And I'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts. Comment! Write! Keep in touch!

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