October 11, 2018 / 2 Cheshvan, 5779 • Parshat Noach
Issue 530
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark survived.

Bereishit 7:23

Noah and his family took care of the animals faithfully and humanely throughout their year in the ark, even though feeding all of them was an exhausting task. Even when one of the lions struck Noah for delivering their meal late, this only strengthened Noah's concern for his charges.

Like Noah and his family, we are all responsible for providing for needs of those together with us in this world, our "ark." This applies to their material needs, of course, but also and especially to their spiritual needs. Like Noah and his family, we can persevere in our task despite its difficulty.

The incident with the lion teaches us the importance of being acutely sensitive to the discomfort of others, providing for their needs promptly. If we are tempted to consider their necessities mere luxuries, we should recall that we have no way of estimating another person's true, inner worth; each might possess a lofty soul and therefore be a "lion," a "king." Moreover, while we should indeed assume that whenever we suffer it is because we deserve to, we should always assume others deserve only the best.

--From Kehot's

Daily Wisdom #2