By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com
It is a pasuk found in Tehillim chapter 104, the 24th pasuk.
How great are Your works, O Hashem! You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is filled with Your creations!
The following imaginary situation, based upon Ed Yong’s recent book, “An Immense World,” gave this author a thought. The thought was that, perhaps, this concept is alluded to in Dovid HaMelech’s pasuk that we recite daily.
Imagine a fairly large room that, for now, contains an elephant and a mouse. A bird, a robin, joins in. Then an owl and an upside-down bat come along. There is now a rattle snake on the floor and a spider with its web in the corner. There is a mosquito in the room, and a bumblebee on a potted plant. And then there is a human, we will call him Ralph.
The elephant lifts its trunk to perceive its world, it smells nothing significant. The rattlesnake, however, through flicking its tongue, detects the mouse’s recent pathway. “Hmm, it thinks, supper is nearby.”
The mosquito smells the CO2 just emitted by Ralph’s breathing out and the delicious aroma of that which Ralph’s skin now evaporates. It lands on Ralph’s bare arm. “Food! At last,” it thinks. But Ralph swats away at it.
The slap on Ralph’s arm now disturbs the mouse. It squeaks, severely frightened. The bat hears it. The elephant does not – to the elephant the squeal is inaudible.
And speaking of our elephant, it now wishes to communicate with its shidduch, who is a little over six miles away – that’s from Boro Park to JFK as the crow flies. It produces a very low-frequency noice between 1 and 20 Hertz called an infrasound in order to do this. We only discovered these infrasounds in the 1980’s.
Ralph, however, hears no mouse’s squeal and no Shidduch lament of the elephant. Ralph hears only the beautiful sound of the robin. Ralph does not fathom the complexities of that which is encoded in the robin’s tune.
Ralph sees the robin’s chest as red. The elephant just sees different shades of blue and yellow. The bumblebee is also does not perceive red – but can detect ultra-violet hues, shades and colors. It is sitting on top of sunflower plant which as an ultra-violet bulls-eye – invisible to Ralph, but can be seen by the bumblebee as well as the robin. There is more, much more, but we get the picture.
And now, onto the new insight.
Each of these creations of Hashem is wonderous. It’s perception of the world around it – is particularly suited to its own particular needs. They have all been created with uncanny wisdom – a Divine wisdom. And they all occupy the same space, and the world is filled with these creations of Yours – Hashem.
Mah Rabbu Maasecha!
The author can be reached at [email protected]