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A Cat Can't Fly

Thursday, 3 May, 2018 - 10:54 pm

One day towards evening when it was getting dark, two friends Yankel and Berel saw something in the distance. Yankel thought that it was a bird while Berel claimed that it was a cat. To resolve their dispute they decided on the following experiment. They would throw a stone at the object. If it flies it must be a bird, but if it remains still, it is indeed a cat.

As soon as the stone made contact with the object it flew away. As Yankel was about to claim victory Berel turned around to him and exclaimed: "you know my dear friend, it is the first time I have seen a cat that flies". 

We are currently in the 'Omer'; a seven-week period of time wherein we count the 49 days leading us towards the festival of Shavuot – the day we received the Torah. Our sages teach that these seven weeks are a time of personal growth; a time to develop, refine and work on our character traits, making them more sensitive and spiritually attuned. And sometimes this requires a paradigm shift. 

We humans tend to get stuck on the ‘cat’ and won’t give it up. Breaking loose of our comfort zone and making a real change is perhaps the most difficult challenge we face. Even if "it flies", we will find a way to still see it as a cat. 

And yet, at the same time we have been endowed with an innate sense and intuitive desire to transcend, and change our current status. Somewhere in the depth of our sub consciousness, we wish we could get out our "cat-view" and see our life as the soaring bird. 

And that is exactly what the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot are all about. On Passover G‑d took us out of slavery. But that’s only half of the process. Then it’s up to us to spend the next seven weeks taking the slavery mentality out of ourselves. 

According to the kabbalah, each week we focus on a different character trait. And by the end of the seven weeks of the Omer we’ve completely broken out of our box and left our confining and stubborn perspectives behind us. 

Tonight we’ll count #34. So please join the journey towards number 49 (it’s never too late to hop on board) and together we will merit – as one community – to receive and internalize the Torah with great joy!

Let’s do a mitzvah today!

Shabbat Shalom,


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