May 18, 2024


Free For All Food

Are We Cats to the Almighty? | Audrey N. Glickman

In no way do I mean any irreverence in the feelings I am about to categorical.  The Omnicomedic One has set up with my sense of humor for a very extended time.  (In truth, I think the Almighty established it.)  I hope often God laughs with me.

Each morning in these COVID moments, my cat Taxi joins in our Zoom minyan.  He hears us chatting prior to the services commences, and he hops more than to sit on my lap, acquiring memorized relatively very well at which factors we will be standing up.  He commenced out as a considerably-intrigued tsitsit chaser, but at twelve decades old he understands and typically heeds my admonitions from such pursuits.

Now, Kaddish DeRabbanan is just one of my favorite prayers (in spite of possessing been shot at whilst praying it).  I like it for quite a few factors:  I unquestionably maintain reverence for the act of finding out, for the capability to examine, for having issues to study, for all kinds of studying and for people who market the identical.  I like the prayer since it encompasses the Mourner’s Kaddish inside it, so letting those people in mourning an excess operate for the cost of learning.  I even like the Aramaic, a tongue that appears to be to me incredibly a great deal placed in the front of the mouth.

One particular morning, in the center of that liturgy, I started thinking.

As you may perhaps surmise from the photo, our cat is a alternatively pensive, assumed-filled unique.  He enjoys the newspaper, primarily the puzzles web page.  He will match himself onto one’s lap in the excellent posture and purr properly even though permitting just one know where by to scratch his head and crinkle his ears.  He will stand for the Kaddish DeRabbanan.  He will glimpse a person in the eyes and hold a conversation, give and acquire, with correct vocal inflections.  Most generally what he is declaring is, “I really feel that despite the clock it is time for a spot of foodstuff.”  (He understands only also perfectly that the clock retains undue sway over my selections.)

1st point in the morning, he awakens me at the correct time.  (He does this without regard to weekends, though we are doing the job on that by exhibiting that “minyan” commences considerably afterwards on all those times, and does not observe the exact same regimen.)  Taxi is really mild in his awakening:  he snuggles up from me less than my confront and purrs.  If I really don’t wake up before long sufficient, he pats my cheek with his paw and inserts his whiskers in my ear.  At that stage he requests his early morning ration of snuggling before I am launched to go to the next area.

Later, on the way down the stairs, Taxi walks in between my legs to clearly show his appreciation that I am headed at any time nearer to the kitchen and nearer to tending to his each individual need to have.  He talks of how he guarded the dwelling all night from invaders who if not for his existence might have uncovered a way by way of the home windows and partitions, endangering us all.

I put together his breakfast before my individual.  (I’ve explained to him that whilst this is a commandment, I would do it anyway.)  The total time I am making ready his food stuff, he butters me up.  He artfully rubs his head and system on my legs, wrapping his lengthy tail all around my knees, even though in “cooking” his breakfast I am necessary to wander back again and forth in the kitchen area.  I understand that he is doing that to exhibit passion and encouragement.  This ritual usually success in my taking for a longer period than it might to put together the meal, and threatens to dump me on my head.

It is quite rare that Taxi is rigid-necked about the food stuff I get ready, although he did get the notion again in the days of the 2nd Cat that he should really only eat the sauce and pumpkin from close to his moist foods, not the meals by itself.  The moist morsels had been still left to the Next Cat, who had terrible enamel and appreciated having the remaining foods from Taxi’s bowl.  There is no for a longer period a 2nd Cat, so no a single eats the moist food items itself, no issue how finely mashed.

Again to the Kaddish.  It looks to me that really much of our company liturgy is composed of our buttering up the Almighty.  We are rubbing on the Ubiquitous Hallowed Legs, so to converse, even as God could be making an attempt to notify us to do in any other case.  We have discovered someplace that God likes this rubbing, this talking of the Holy Just one with so quite a few adjectives and so several blesseds and even a lot more words and phrases about the vast versions of Omnipotence.  I do not know how we have acquired this, nor do I know no matter if it is even proper.  But this is what we do, some of us a lot more than at the time a working day.

Let me go a little bit further with this inspection.  We have been handed the most glorious set of principles for living a fantastic lifetime, a total everyday living, a moral everyday living, for sustaining ourselves and other people, and for bettering the ailment of this globe and all in it, and the rest of the universe as nicely.

We have taken this very significantly, have an understanding of that we are each guardians of and adherents to that with which we have been entrusted.  But in getting it so substantially to heart, have we maybe misconstrued the meanings?  Have we designed our fences all over it in these kinds of a way that we maintain out the reality, probably in opposition to retaining in the commandments?

And are we emphasizing the erroneous factors whilst ignoring the extra important?

Could God be disappointed with us at this point, and aggravated that we keep sitting in God’s lap, asking for food items, and pooping outside the litter box, function even though we may to keep the entire world no cost from proverbial mice, when we have been told time and again how we ought to be behaving?  Most likely at this phase of God’s parenthood and our progress it is no more time plenty of that we say a pair dozen phrases of glorification and lauding and praise and magnification in each and every Kaddish DeRabbanan.  Potentially no total of schmoozing and kissing up is adequate when we are not performing ample studying and knowing and performing to justify it, or are not finding out the appropriate issues, or are not drawing the best conclusions from our scientific studies.  Probably we are not nevertheless absolutely understanding, and we should really have been effectively further than that by now.

The adore is however there, in between us and God.  But I believe we could do a bit additional developing up.  Like the cat who hears so often, “Please do not steal my hair holders and place them into your drinking water dish!” and does recall that sentence vaguely even as he doesn’t heed it, we might have permit items get out of hand.  Some of us even wave our piety and observe as a banner displaying our goodness, certain that Second Cat will consider the tumble.

It’s possible by now we are predicted not to want fences and child locks any longer, we are envisioned to do what is just and appropriate.  Possibly at times we are testing God’s abundant patience, all the although considering we are building God delighted.

There is potentially as a great deal evolutionary variation among the cat and the human as among the human and an angel.  (You may possibly reject that speculation, but it feels proper to me.)  I feeling God expecting a little something of us in return for what we have been given and keep on to have accessible.  And it is our task to display the way to many others, as we have been entrusted.  We must continue to evolve, and educate, and elucidate.  It is not just for us to observe these regulations, it is for all the other cats about.  We all share the earth, and in these COVID periods that turns into at any time additional distinct.

I am suggesting that we re-take a look at our expression of adore for God, due to the fact we just do not seem to be living up to God’s expectations.

Appear at it this way, type of microcosmically.  It’s possible God would not intellect at all if we didn’t have four sets of dishes, if we cut our sons’ hair at age two, if a speck of whey powder fell into our pareve cracker dough, and if we deemed portray a landscape to be Shabbat relaxation, as extended as we are straightforward and open, as long as we are using care of the weak, the needy, the ill and bereft, and the world and all creatures that dwell on it.

Our really like must be as unconditional as a cat’s.  And we need to continue to keep finding new methods to convey it.

Writer of POCKETS: The Trouble with Culture Is in Women’s Garments (, Audrey N. Glickman is a rabbi’s assistant, with prior expertise in nonprofits, government, marketing, and as a authorized secretary. A native Pittsburgher, Audrey has served on quite a few boards, businesses, and committees, advocating for a lot of leads to, which includes equal rights, secure recountable voting, preserving the earth, good government, strengthening establishments, and understanding and tending to our fellow human beings.