Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Food for thought from Moshe Mordechai: Only such a small part

Only such a small part of the Universe is Planet Earth.

Only such a small part of all molecules is organic.

Only such a small part of Earth is alive.

Only such a small part of any life form is other molecules than water.

Only such a small part of life is animalistic.

Only such a small part of the animal kingdom is human.

Only such a small part of humanity survived. The whole line of Abel died with him. Of all the offspring of Cain only one survived: the wife of No'ach.[1] Of No'ach's generation only nine people survived.[2]

Only such a small part of humanity got the Tora. Of twenty generations Abraham was the first. Of all the converts that he and Sara made only 70 souls[3] were left after three generations; only the second son of his second son of his first marriage (Jacob) and his offspring. None of all the converts that they made in their long and hard working years stayed around. Of the people that went down to Egypt, a few hundred years later only 20% left in the emerging Jewish People, and that is the most conservative estimate. The other extreme (Rav Nehorai) is that less than 0.2% left. Of them, besides their kids, only the women, most of the Levites and two and a half percent[4] of the rest made it to Israel.

Only such a small part of the human body (the CNS) is capable of creativity, intuition, innovations and novelties that we call intelligence and memory, emotions, awakeness or sleep, zest or pain, awareness. The rest has to work with an array of existing bodily functions and options, with no creative choices – only instincts.[5]

Only such a small part of the brain is busy with moral, ethical behavior, busy with learning Tora.

Only such a small part of our lives we are able to make a new Free Choice to go against the grain and elevate ourselves.

And this whole Universe was created just for these few moral moments.

We are so lucky. What chance did we really have to end up on Earth of all places, be alive with all this dead weight around, as humans of all life forms, as Jews of all people, learning Tora of all that is interesting, even once having a moral challenge, today of all times. We won the jackpot.

[1]  Also Science holds it a miracle that there are any humans alive today. Almost all of ancient man that they found has no live progeny in our day.

[2] No'ach, his three sons, their four wives and Og. The last is ignored in the Tora text about the Flood, maybe because he never got any children or students, and such a person is considered dead.

[3] Genesis 46:26-7. Excluded in this number are the wives of Abraham's great-grandchildren.

[4]  Every year two and a half percent died on Tisha B'Av, except for the last year in the desert.

[5] Some other parts can also learn (the immune system) but only in matching in descript ways novel antigens, unknown mulecules.


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