A Letter YWN Received On Sept 17 – Can Anyone Help Her?

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    Y.W. Editor

    The following is an unedited letter YWN received today. We figured there just has to be someone creative enough here for a response.

    “I have been given the opportunity to get up at my Grand daughter’s Bat Mitzvah early in Oct. and recite a short paragraph on any topic I feel is relevant and meaningful. I am an animal advocate and have devoted my retirement to Pet Therapy visiting hospitals, helping children learn to become more confident readers by reading to my dog, and in any way we can help others to become happier and more positive. My grand daughter is also an animal lover, has a family dog, and has done a project on Therapy and Guide dogs for school. She has not had a chance yet to do more since she is busy studying but I am hoping she will in the future — wherever her own heart takes her.

    So, what I am looking for is a lovely prayer that I can read that the congregation will also find meaningful which may illustrate our bond with the animals and all life forms to make our world a better place. Do you have any prayers in mind that I might read that day?

    I am not to write something myself.

    I appreciate your efforts to help me find the appropriate passage.

    Thank you.”


    I would suggest the grandparent ask the family rabbi for her help and she will be able to compose the desired prayer.


    Reminds me the story of the Steipler; once a Secular couple from Tel Aviv had a beloved pet dog that was sick and the vet said there is nothing they can do, they heard later from friends that there is holy Rabbi in the neighboring city of Bnei Brak, who people refer to blessings, and which many have been helped. So they arrive to the home of the Steipler and explain thier troubling situation. The Steipler not wanting to C’V to offend anyone replied, “as with all the ones I pray for, I need to know the (dogs) mother’s name, otherwise I can’t pray for her so if you can please get back with the name I will gladly accommodate you…”


    To Gaon:
    R’ Kanievsky, Z”TL, was wise enough to avoid putting down someone who was clearly in a moment of emotional distress and came to him for help. Clearly, the Editor’s request was for some simple and meaningful d’var torah tha tmight be invoked by this well meaning Zaidah that would inspire her granddaughter at this simcha (probably at a MO shul) but not offend. There are multiple references in Torah and Tehillim to the concept of tsa’ar ba’alei chayim that might be woven together to provide a short d’var torah that is appropriate for the occasion (w/o getting into a broader discussion about bat mitzvahs, what and who should participate etc).


    She should give out the artscroll
    Perek Shira and remind everyone to say “nishmas” every shabbos morning.


    Something from Perek Shirah?


    There is much that can be said about kovod habrios, about how all of Hashems creations have their tafkid, about the story of Dovid Hamelech and the spider, etc. That being said, I cannot resist mentioning that I like Pizza, but I’ve spoken many times and pizza has never been mentioned. It might be OK to speak about the awesome responsibility of being a bas yisroel, and how lucky she is to be among Hashem’s Chosen people.


    First of all congratulations and mazzal tov. Second of all, I would suggest the following reflection/prayer. And third of all, I suggest reading Psalms chapter 104, which is a very beautiful Biblical passage showing how animals can help us to appreciate God.
    “As your grandparent, I am very proud of your achievements. One very fond memory is your project on Therapy and guide dogs. In that spirit, I would like to share with you a short passage from the 104th psalm, whcih speaks of the harmony in God’s world. “God sends forth springs in the valleys, and they meander between the mountains. They provide water for all the animals of the field, and the wild-asses can slake their thirst. On them, the birds of the field dwell, and from among the branches they send forth their voices. From his high heavens, God gives water to the mountains , and from the fruit of Your actions, the earth is satisfied. God provides fodder for animals, and plants for people’s work, and thus brings forth bread from the earth.” This short passage ends with the phrase “who brings forth bread from the earth” which is the basis for the HaMotsi blessing that Jews say before eating bread. It reminds us to appreciate all the wonderful natural things in the world, and to see nature, animals, and plants, as special creations of God. I hope that you will always remember to look at animals and plants with a sense of wonder, and to see in them the beauty that God has given us in this world. ”
    Note that the quote above is from verses 10-14 of the 104th chapter of Psalms, in my translation. You may prefer a different translation. Shana tova!


    From pirkei avos near end of 5th perek

    יְהוּדָה בֶן תֵּימָא אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי עַז כַּנָּמֵר, וְקַל כַּנֶּשֶׁר, וְרָץ כַּצְּבִי, וְגִבּוֹר כָּאֲרִי, לַעֲשׂוֹת
    רְצוֹן אָבִיךָ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמָיִם


    Assuming this is serious. Perhaps the Zaide can speak about the dog and how they know when to keep their mouth shut (makas choshech in maitrayim) and how it is a lesson for all of us. Know when to open our mouth and know when to keep it closed.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    re: Apushatayid’s post: There is a source somewhere about what we can learn from each animal. I don’t where the source is off-hand and I have no time to look for it right now, but I’m sure someone here knows.

    (DY, are you around?)

    I think it talks about learning tznius from the cat and industriousness from ants…


    “I think it talks about learning tznius from the cat and industriousness from ants…”

    “R’Yochanan said: ‘Had the Torah not been given, we would have learned modesty from a cat, [not to commit] theft from an ant, [not to commit] adultery from a dove, [and] the proper manner of conduct [for marital relations] from a rooster, which [first] appeases [its mate] and then has relations [with it].'”
    Eruvin 100b


    I just noticed this in the original post: “helping children learn to become more confident readers by reading to my dog”.

    Does that really make sense? I can’t decide.


    Gaon similar story it’s a true story
    A guy came to a rabbi and asked him to say Kaddish for his dog so the rabbi said come back tomorrow it’s a matter he couldn’t answer at that moment (he has to “lookup the answer “) so he said tehillim and went to sleep knowing everything will work out when the guy came back the next day he asked the rabbi , “nu?” So the rabbi said since one suede says you can only say kaddish for a Jewish departed soul and on the other hand u want Kaddish to be said for the dog but the question is is it permissible. We have a shulchan aruch stating that somebody in doubt weather he should say Kaddish or not he should listen to Simone who needs to say it and answer amen and by that he will fulfill the duty of saying Kaddish by answering amen During this time he learned some daavening and other things to do with yiddishkei now this guy is a frum guy shomer Torah and mitzvos

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