Q: What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? A: I don’t know and I don’t care – source unknown
Animals can be broken down into three groups: those that benefit mankind, those that harm mankind and those that seem irrelevant to mankind.
The dog is man’s best friend. The mosquito is an annoyance. The frog seems irrelevant.
People can be broken down into three groups: those that recognize a Higher Power, those that deny a Higher Power and those that the whole discussion of a Higher Power is not relevant.
Person one and two are engaged (see stories below) in the Higher Power. The third type of person should learn from the frog.
The frog that seems irrelevant to man is used to teach Pharoah that there is a Higher Power. The frog, which is cold, sacrificed its life to enter the hot Egyptian ovens, to teach them an important message: G-d is relevant and meant to listen to even if it means going against one’s nature. Even when I feel cold, apathetic or ignorant, I can follow the message received from the Egyptian frogs, as eloquently stated by Kermit the Frog:
Take a look above you,
Discover the view,
If you haven’t noticed,
P.S. The story I promised you:
Famed Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz invited a professor to his Talmud class at a Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He asked the professor: “Why don’t you join the class? All of your colleagues come. It’s in your building — right down the hall”. The professor responded: “I don’t belong in the class; we have nothing in common”. “What do you mean we have nothing in common?” asked the Rabbi. “You don’t understand!” said the professor. “I only eat pork! On Shabbat! Exclusively!” “Only on Shabbat?” asked Rabbi Steinsaltz. “Specifically! Spitefully! On Shabbat!” “Ahh, in that case,” said Rabbi Steinsaltz, “we do have something in common.” “What do you mean?” asked the professor. “I have my way of observing Shabbat and you have your way of observing Shabbat.” Both men are talking about celebrating Shabbat. Clearly, they both believe it is important or they would not bother to engage in the ritual and/or to object! So they actually agree on that point — Shabbat is important. They just do not agree on precisely what should be done about it!
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman
Thanks to my brother, Rabbi Kushi Schusterman, Chabad Bel Air, Maryland, for sharing the above thought.