Josh shook his head, and with an exaggerated blank look, said, ‘Nobody made it. The other day it just sort of formed itself out of a pile of rocks in my backyard, so I just picked it up and started using it. Works pretty well, actually.”
“What are you talking about, man! If you don’t want to talk about your camera, just say so. But don’t try to tell me that a brand new, high-tech camera just sort of appeared out of nowhere!”
“Why not? Didn’t you just tell me that all of those amazing animals, each with their amazing designs, including a set of ‘cameras’ in their heads — called eyes — that are way more sophisticated than any manmade camera, just sort of happened by coincidence? So why not this?”
“Yeah, but…” Yossi stopped short. Like it or not, his friend had a point.
“Of course this camera didn’t ‘just happen’,” Josh said, “and neither did these giraffes. Anything with a design has to have a designer. That’s exactly what turns me on so much about the zoo. To me it’s one big art gallery of Hashem’s masterpieces and each new design I see in one of the animals is like seeing His signature at the bottom of the painting. It’s like He’s creating the world again right in front of our eyes!”
Just then, the guide called the class over to jump on the train to the next exhibit. Yossi thought about what Josh had said and somehow the rest of the zoo trip was a lot more interesting.
Q. How did Yossi feel at first about what Josh was saying about the animals being specially designed by Hashem?
A. He didn’t agree and felt that it was all just a coincidence.
Q. How did he feel after speaking to Josh about his camera?
A. He realized that just like it was silly to think the camera could just appear without anyone making it, it was also silly to think the animals could just happen without Hashem making them they way they were.
Q. Why did Josh’s argument cause Yossi to look at things differently?
A. Up until then, Yossi always assumed that things were just the way they were just…because. He didn’t have any logical reason to feel that way, he had just never really thought about it. When Josh pretended to claim that the camera, which wasn’t nearly as complex or sophisticated as the animals and all their features, also just formed by accident, Yossi realized just how illogical it had been to think things like cameras, or animals, could somehow exist without being especially designed and created by Hashem.
Q. Is there anything in the world that wasn’t purposely designed the way it is by Hashem?
A. As amazing as it may seem, out of the billions of people, animals, birds, fish, insects, plants and even rocks–not to mention all the stars and planets—every single one was designed and created specifically by Hashem. Not only that, He has a special reason for every kind of being to be. Though we may not always know the reason for everything, we can be sure that everything that exists—including us—are all part of Hashem’s magnificent, marvelous, master plan.
Ages 10 and up
Q. Do you think that the more one knows about natural sciences and how living things function, the more his belief in Hashem would strengthen or get weaker?
A. The deeper one examines the workings of the universe, the more he grows astounded by the mind-boggling complexity, structure, and synchronicity of everything in it, from the most minute subatomic particle, to the most vast galaxy and everything in between. An honest reaction to all of this would be one of humility, awe at the Intelligence (Hashem) that created it all, and an ever stronger belief in and connection to Him.
Q. Were we created for a purpose? If so, what is that purpose?
A. Nothing came into being by chance. Everything was created for a purpose, and our purpose is the highest and most spiritual of all. We are meant to live a Godly, spiritual life, practicing kindness and justice while living in and partaking of the physical world. When we live up to the purpose we were created for, we enjoy a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that nothing else can match.
About the Author: Nesanel Yoel Safran is a published writer and yeshiva cook. He has been studying Torah for the last 25 years, and lives in Israel with his family.
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