Avodah – Perek Shira – 9th Tammuz, 5769


Perek Shira – 9th Tammuz, 5769


Perek Shira

Perek Shira: Who Is The Boss? The Horse Says, The One With The Food

Did you ever go horseback riding? The first and most important rule they teach you is that you need to show the horse who is the boss. If you establish that, then you are okay. If not, get ready for a rough ride on the of this fast and mighty creature. The Gemara Pesachim says that a horse eats a lot, works a little, is arrogant, and would like to kill its owner in war. Not exactly the profile of an animal that you would think would relate to a weak human being as Mr. Boss. Similarly the Gemara in Pesachim says that Canaan, the father of all slaves commanded his children who were destined to be slaves, love stealing, love adultery, hate your owner, among other less than sterling character traits.

Inborn traits like those possessed by the slave and horse are the hallmarks of someone who desperately wants his freedom. Yet both of them are loyal because they know who butters their bread. Not only are they loyal but they are a model of subjugation and modesty. Similarly says the Knaf Renanim, we too at the very least should learn from these two characters how to behave towards Hashem. We may have our own plans and desires but at the very least we should be smart enough to know that when we need food we need to totally submit ourselves to our boss. When is that? Always!

The horse says, “Hinei K’Enei Avodim El Yad Adonaihem, K’Enei Shifcha El Yad Givirta, Kein Eineinu EL Hashem Elokeinu”; we are like the arrogant slave and the maidservant whose eyes are turned towards its master in complete humility, at least when it needs something.

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