web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Cat from Jerusalem

"In New York I partied almost every night and the next day I didn’t feel good about myself. But here, after spending the night at the Wall, I feel an exhilaration."
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

In high spirits we proceeded to the hotel dining room for Sabbath dinner. I invited my nine-year-old granddaughter, who to my delight had joined us on the trip, to share some Torah thoughts.

It is a timeless tradition that at every Sabbath meal wisdom from that week’s parshah is discussed. Over the years I have discovered that whatever transpires on the world scene, or whatever predicament a person finds himself in, the portion of the week always gives illumination. So it was that my little granddaughter found an allusion to Beth’s cat story in the portion that was studied that week – Deuteronomy 11:15, “And you shall give grass to your cattle and you shall eat and be satisfied” – from which our sages conclude that since the animals are mentioned first they must be fed first and we humans are to satisfy our appetites only afterward.

“This mitzvah,” my granddaughter went on to say, “is so important that when Noah entered the ark, G-d charged him with this responsibility. On one occasion, when Noah was late with the feeding, the lion in his hunger became so infuriated that he bit Noah, and that injury left him limping.” With an adorable smile lighting up her face my granddaughter concluded by saying, “The other night in the restaurant, Beth fed the cat before she herself ate. And so you see, everything is in the Torah portion of the week!”

“This truly made a believer of me,” Beth called out with tears in her eyes. As much as our group chuckled at the story, and tried to laugh it off as coincidence, we were awed by it.

No one had a logical explanation for how that kitten could have known which hotel we were staying in and how it found its way to us. If anyone reading this thinks it must have been another kitten, Beth will tell you she recognized the kitten immediately and identified all its signs.

Should you still harbor doubts, consider that it was on that particular night, as we arrived at the hotel, that the kitten was waiting at the entrance. I have stayed at that hotel frequently but at no other time have I ever seen a kitten crying at its front door.

When our group left Israel, Beth stayed on for a few days to make arrangements for her newfound friend to return with her to America. And so it was that the kitten from Jerusalem became a resident of New York City.

The cat, however, had a difficult time adjusting to its new habitat, so Beth decided to give it to one of our Hineni members who was a psychologist. “Perhaps you could help him to adjust” she told Karen, who willingly took up the challenge.

As the years passed the cat story faded from my memory. Two weeks ago, though, something happened that reminded me about the cat and I asked Karen how it was doing. Was it still alive? Her face lit up with a big smile and she said, “Rebbetzin, you can’t imagine. He’s the oldest cat around and he’s just a sweetheart. I’ll send you a photograph.”

I share that photograph with readers so that you can see for yourselves the cat from Jerusalem. But I’m sure you’re wondering what drove me to write about it.

A cat – a simple cat that has no ability to think or evaluate –changes character, becoming restless, sad and angry when uprooted from Jerusalem. Well, if a cat born in Jerusalem couldn’t bear to leave the Holy City and feels destitute and nervous in a foreign land, how much more does this hold true for the Jewish people? We were uprooted from our land and taken to foreign and hostile soil millennia ago. Of course we must feel the pain of leaving Jerusalem. How can we possibly forget?

But the cat eventually settled in and became fat and comfy. He learned to love his new, good life and being away from Jerusalem no longer bothered him.

Could it be that we, sons and daughters of Jerusalem, are not much different from that cat? Today the cat is perfectly adjusted, happy with his delicious cat chow and wallowing in his pampered life. Jerusalem has long faded from his cat mind.

So what does this cat story tell me? What does it tell you? Think about it.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “The Cat from Jerusalem”

  1. I met plenty of really nice friendly cats in Israel and two that I fell in love with. Cats do think and evaluate and they are able to give love. "What greater gift than the love of a cat"

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
An IDF soldier surveys a Palestinian terror tunnel.
IDF: Not Sure We can Get to All Tunnels
Latest Judaism Stories
PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Parshat Matot

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.

The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.

When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

The midrash says that Pinchas, (this parsha), and Eliyahu, prophet of Kings, are one and the same.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Gratitude=Great Attitude. Appreciation is always appropriate.

The two words “thank you” have no time expiration; even if spoken after many years they’re as potent as ever.

Let us shake the heavens. Let us not stop until our boys and all our people are liberated from bondage.

Loving-kindness can cure the anger and bitterness in our poisonous world.

The Hebrew word for coincidence is mikreh, which comes from “karah min Hashem – it happened from G-d.”

Saying “thank you” to people to whom we are indebted is humbling – especially if we’ve been raised in a culture of entitlement.

To his very last day he struggled to transcend his pain so that he might impart Torah to all who visited him.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-cat-from-jerusalem/2013/11/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: