הטבע עבור האדם או האדם עבור הטבע: על יהדות וסביבה
1א
הדף מאת: רועי הורן / בית מדרש אלול
2ב
האם עולם הטבע הנשקף אלינו מחלון ביתנו הממוזג נועד לשרת אותנו, בני האדם, המין העליון? או שמא להפך - דווקא בשל היותנו בעלי תבונה, מוטלת עלינו האחריות לדאוג להמשכו התקני של היקום? האם האדם הוא מרכז העולם ולו זכות הקיום הראשוני? ננסה לברר שאלות אלה ואחרות תוך כדי שימוש בפנים מוכרות יותר ומוכרות פחות של המקורות היהודיים.
3ג
דיון
לפניכם שני סיפורי הבריאה המוכרים לנו מספר בראשית.

סיפורים אלה מקפלים בתוכם אתיקה שלמה של יחס נכון של האדם לטבע. התבוננות מעמיקה בשני הסיפורים מגלה שהם אינם זהים: כל אחד מהם מעמיד מודל שונה של מעמד האדם ביחס לסביבתו.

חשבו: מהי האתיקה הסביבתית העומדת בבסיס כל אחד מן הסיפורים?
4ד
בראשית, פרק א, כו-ל
יחס האדם והטבע: גרסה א
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים, נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ;
וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ, וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ, הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ.
וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹקים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹקים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם, אֱלֹקים, וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹקים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְכִבְשֻׁהָ; וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם, וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבְכָל-חַיָּה, הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל-הָאָרֶץ.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים, הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת-כָּל-עֵשֶׂב זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-כָּל-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ פְרִי-עֵץ, זֹרֵעַ זָרַע: לָכֶם יִהְיֶה, לְאָכְלָה. וּלְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֶת-כָּל-יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, לְאָכְלָה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.
5ה
בראשית, פרק ב, ד-טו בדילוגים
יחס האדם והטבע: גרסה ב
אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּהִבָּרְאָם: בְּיוֹם, עֲשׂוֹת ה אֱלֹקים--אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם.
וְכֹל שִׂיחַ הַשָּׂדֶה, טֶרֶם יִהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ, וְכָל-עֵשֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶה, טֶרֶם יִצְמָח, כִּי לֹא הִמְטִיר ה' אֱלֹקים, עַל-הָאָרֶץ, וְאָדָם אַיִן, לַעֲבֹד אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה. וְאֵד, יַעֲלֶה מִן-הָאָרֶץ, וְהִשְׁקָה, אֶת-כָּל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה.
וַיִּיצֶר יְה' אֱלֹקים אֶת-הָאָדָם, עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו, נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים; וַיְהִי הָאָדָם, לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה.
וַיִּטַּע ה' אֱלֹקים, גַּן-בְּעֵדֶן--מִקֶּדֶם; וַיָּשֶׂם שָׁם, אֶת-הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר יָצָר. וַיַּצְמַח ה' אֱלֹקים, מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, כָּל-עֵץ נֶחְמָד לְמַרְאֶה, וְטוֹב לְמַאֲכָל--וְעֵץ הַחַיִּים, בְּתוֹךְ הַגָּן, וְעֵץ, הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע. [...]
וַיִּקַּח ה' אֱלֹקים, אֶת-הָאָדָם; וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן-עֵדֶן, לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ.
6ו
'רְאֵה את מעשה האלהים כי מי יוכל לתקֵן את אשר עותוֹ' [=עיוות אותו]: בשעה שברא הקב"ה את אדם הראשון, נטלוֹ והחזירוֹ על כל אילני גן עדן ואמר לו: ראה מעשי כמה נאים ומשובחין הן וכל מה שבראתי בשבילך בראתי; תן דעתך שלא תקלקל ותחריב את עולמי, שאם קלקלת, אין מי שיתקן אחריך.

הסברים
  • על הפסוק-
    "ראה את מעשה האלוקים כי מי יוכל לתקן את אשר עִוותוֹ" (קהלת ז, יג)
7ז
דיון
האם בעל המדרש נוטה לאחת מהעמדות שלמעלה או שהוא עושה סינתזה ביניהן?
8ח
מעמד האדם בספר איוב
מִי-פִלַּג לַשֶּׁטֶף תְּעָלָה; וְדֶרֶךְ, לַחֲזִיז קֹלוֹת.
לְהַמְטִיר, עַל-אֶרֶץ לֹא-אִישׁ -- מִדְבָּר, לֹא-אָדָם בּוֹ.
לְהַשְׂבִּיעַ שֹׁאָה, וּמְשֹׁאָה; וּלְהַצְמִיחַ, מֹצָא דֶשֶׁא.

הסברים
  • הקב"ה נוזף באיוב על טענותיו כנגד הבורא. בנאום זה (שרק חלקו הקטן מובא כאן) שואל הקב"ה את איוב סדרת שאלות רטוריות על פעולותיו של הבורא במקומות רחוקים מראיית האדם, שאלות אלו מחזירות את איוב למקומו, על הארץ, רחוק מחכמתו של אלקים. פירוש דעת מקרא: בשאלות אלו רמז (הקב"ה) לאיוב שאין האדם תכלית הבריאה, ואין האדם רשאי להתהלל שהוא הגורם לאדמה שתתן יבולה, שהרי גם במקום שאין אדם - יש שובע.
Who hath cleft a channel for the waterflood, Or a way for the lightning of the thunder; To cause it to rain on a land where no man is, On the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground, And to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
9ט
דיון
לאיזו מן העמדות מספר בראשית שראינו לעיל נוטה העמדה בספר איוב?

שעה שאתם מתבוננים בטבע הפראי, הצומח רחוק רחוק ממגעו של האדם, התוכלו להזדהות עם העמדה המוצגת בספר איוב?
10י
מורה נבוכים, מהדורת שוורץ, תל אביב תשסח, חלק ג פרק יג
דעת הרמב"ם בשאלת מעמדו של האדם בבריאה
לכן בעינַי הדעה הנכונה בהתאם לאמונות התורה, והמתאימה לדעות העיוניות, היא שאין להאמין שכּל הנמצאים הם בשביל מציאות האדם, אלא אף שאר הנמצאים מכוונים לעצמם ולא בשביל דבר אחר. בטלה גם כן בקשת התכלית לכל מיני הנמצאים, אפילו לפי דעתנו שהעולם מחודש [נברא, בניגוד לדעת אריסטו שהעולם קדמון ולא נברא מעולם], כי אנו אומרים שהאל הביא לידי מציאות את כל חלקי העולם ברצונו, מהם מכוונים לעצמם ומהם בשביל דבר אחר. ואותו אחר מכוון לעצמו. וכשם שהוא חפץ שמין האדם יהיה נמצא, כן חפץ שיימצאו גלגלים אלה וכוכביהם, וכן חפץ שיימצאו המלאכים. בכל נמצא הוא התכוון לעצמוּתו של אותו נמצא. [...] דעה זאת נאמרה גם בספרים הנבואיים. נאמר: כּל פָּעַל ה' למענהו (משלי ט"ז, 4). הכינוי הזה יכול לחזור לַפָּעוּל. ואם הוא חוזר לַפּוֹעֵל יהיה פירושו: בשביל עצמוּתו יתעלה, כלומר, רצונו32, כי הוא עצמוּתו, כפי שהובהר בספר זה
11יא
דיון
  • גם הרמב"ם, באופן מפתיע לכאורה, מאמץ את העמדה שאין האדם תכלית הבריאה.
אלא שהרמב"ם מציג בכל זאת עמדה שונה במעט מזו של ספר איוב. התוכלו לעמוד על ההבדל?
  • חשבו: מהי ההשפעה הפסיכולוגית שיש לעמדות כמו זו של הרמב"ם או זו של ספר איוב על תפיסת האדם את עצמו ואת יחסו לסביבה? במילים אחרות: האם העמדה הרווחת שהאדם הוא נזר הבריאה מעצבת מודל התנהגותי שונה כלפי הסביבה מאשר המודל של הרמב"ם ושל ספר איוב?
12יב
מצוה תקכט: שלא להשחית אילני מאכל במצור וכן כל השחתה בכלל הלאו. .
.. נכנס תחת זה הלאו שלא לעשות שום הפסד, כגון לשרוף או לקרוע בגד או לשבר כלי לבטלה, ובכל ענינים אלו ובכל כיוצא בם שיהיה בהם השחתה יאמרו זכרונם לברכה תמיד בגמרא [קידושין ל"ב ע"א] והא קא עבר משום בל תשחית.
שורש [=טעם] המצוה ידוע, שהוא כדי ללמד נפשנו לאהוב הטוב והתועלת ולהדבק בו, ומתוך כך תדבק בנו הטובה ונרחיק מכל דבר רע ומכל דבר השחתה. וזהו דרך החסידים ואנשי מעשה אוהבים שלום ושמחים בטוב הבריות ומקרבים אותן לתורה, ולא יאבדו אפילו גרגר של חרדל בעולם, ויצר עליהם בכל אבדון והשחתה שיראו, ואם יוכלו להציל יצילו כל דבר מהשחית בכל כחם. ולא כן הרשעים אחיהם של מזיקין, שמחים בהשחתת עולם והמה משחיתים, במדה שאדם מודד בה מודדין לו, כלומר בה הוא נדבק לעולם, וכענין שכתוב [משלי י"ז, ה'], שמח לאד לא ינקה רע, והחפץ בטוב ושמח בו נפשו בטוב תלין לעולם, זה ידוע ומפורסם.
To not destroy fruit trees: That we have been prevented from chopping down trees when we besiege a city to distress the people of the city and to sadden their hearts. And about this is it stated (Deuteronomy 20:19), "you may not destroy its tree, etc. and you shall not chop it down." And likewise not to do any damage - such as burning or ripping a garment or breaking a vessel for no reason - entered under this negative commandment And in all of these matters and in all that is similar to them, they, may their memory be blessed, would always say in the Gemara (Kiddushin 32a), "But behold, he is transgressing on account of 'do not destroy.'" And nonetheless we only administer lashes for one that cuts down a fruit tree, since it is explicit in Scripture. But with other destructions, we [only] give him lashes of rebellion (See Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings and Wars 6:10). The root of this commandment is well-known - it is in order to teach our souls to love good and benefit and to cling to it. And through this, good clings to us and we will distance [ourselves] from all bad and destructive things. And this is the way of the pious and people of [proper] action - they love peace and are happy for the good of the creatures and bring them close to Torah, and they do not destroy even a grain of mustard in the world. And they are distressed by all loss and destruction that they see; and if they can prevent it, they will prevent any destruction with all of their strength. But not so are the wicked - the brothers of the destructive spirits. They rejoice in the destruction of the world, and they destroy themselves - [since] in the way that a person measures, so is he measured; which is to say that he clings to it forever, as the matter that is written (Proverbs 17:5), "the one who rejoices in calamity, will not be cleared (of evil)." And the one who desires the good and rejoices in it, 'his soul will dwell in the good' forever. This is known and famous. From the laws of the commandment is that which they, may their memory be blessed, said (Bava Kamma 91b) that the Torah only forbade cutting fruit trees when he cuts it down destructively. But it is certainly permitted to cut [them] if he finds a beneficial matter in it, such as the value of the wood become valuable and he wants to sell it; or to remove injury by cutting them, such as [if] it was damaging other trees better than it, or because it was damaging other fields. In all of these angles and in all that is similar to it, it is permissible. And they, may their memory be blessed, said (Bava Kamma 91b) that it is permitted to cut any non-fruit bearing tree - even when he does not need [its wood] - and [likewise] any fruit tree that is very old, to the point that it only gives a few fruit, for the sake of which it is not worthwhile to toil [on it]. And they, may their memory be blessed, said with an olive tree, it is permitted to cut anything that makes less than a fourth [of a kav]; and with a palm tree, less than a kav of dates. And in general, they, may their memory be blessed, forbade to do anything destructive. And they said about anyone who destroys anything out of rage (Shabbat 105a) that he is like one who worships idolatry, as so is the way of the evil impulse: Today it says to him, "Do this"; and if he trusts it, tomorrow, it will say to him, "Go and worship idolatry" - meaning to say that every person is obligated to rebuke his impulse and to conquer his desire to the point that he makes the intellectual soul dominate the desiring soul, until it becomes its maidservant and [the intellect] dominate it forever and ever. However, they brought in the Gemara (Shabbat 105a) stories of a few sages that showed themselves to be angry and they would throw down some food or some thing from their hand, in order to discipline the members of their household and to give them alacrity. Nonetheless their supervision would always be over them, that they not throw down something that would be destroyed by this. And the rest of the details of the commandment are in the second chapter of Bava Batra (see Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings and Wars 7). And this prohibition is practiced in every place and at all times by males and females. And one who transgresses it and destroys fruit trees has violated this negative commandment and is liable for lashes. And for other destruction on other things that are not explicit, we lash him [with] lashes of rebellion.
13יג
דיון
מהו היחס לסביבה העולה ממקור זה?

האם לדעתכם בעולם מודרני שבו תרבות השפע היא התרבות הדומיננטית אפשר לאמץ מודל התנהגותי מעין זה? האם לדעתכם מובעת כאן עמדה קיצונית מדי?
14יד
ייסוריו של רבי [יהודה הנשיא] על-ידי מעשה שגרם הוא עצמו באו, ועל ידי מעשה אחר הלכו.
על ידי מעשה באו, מה הוא? עגל אחד שהוליכו אותו לשחיטה, הלך תלה [העגל] ראשו בתוך כנף [בגדו] של רבי ובכה. אמר לו [רבי יהודה הנשיא אמר לעגל]: לֵך, לכך נוצרת! [כלומר, נוצרת כדי שבני-אדם יאכלו את בשרך]. אמרו [משמים]: הואיל ואינו מרחם - שיבואו עליו ייסורים.
ועל ידי מעשה [אחר] הלכו [ייסוריו] - יום אחד הייתה שפחתו של רבי מטאטאה את הבית, היו מונחים שם בני חולדה [= גורים של חולדה] והייתה מטאטאה אותם. אמר לה: הניחי להם, [הרי] כתוב: "ורחמיו על כל מעשיו" (תה' קמה, 9). אמרו [משמים]: הואיל ומרחם - נרחם עליו.
the sons of Beteira; and Jonathan, son of Saul. The Gemara discusses each case: The incident revealing the modesty of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is that which we just said, as he referred to himself modestly as a fox. The sons of Beteira were exceptionally modest, as they served in the position of Nasi and yet abdicated their positions in favor of Hillel when he emigrated from Babylonia to Eretz Yisrael. As the Master said: The sons of Beteira, upon recognizing that Hillel was a superior expert in halakha, seated him at the head and appointed him Nasi over them (see Pesaḥim 66a). Jonathan, son of Saul, was extremely modest, as he said to David: “And you shall be king over Israel, and I shall be second to you” (I Samuel 23:17), despite the fact that his father, Saul, was the current king. The Gemara asks: From where do we know that the aforementioned men were truly modest? Perhaps Jonathan, son of Saul, relinquished his rights to the kingship not due to modesty, but because he saw that the world, i.e., the masses, were drawn after David, and he felt he had no other recourse. With regard to the sons of Beteira also, perhaps they abdicated only because they saw that Hillel was greater than they, as he was able to answer questions that they could not resolve. The Gemara adds: But Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel certainly was a truly modest individual. § The Gemara returns to the previous incident. When he heard that the greatness of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, was due to his suffering, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to himself: Afflictions are evidently precious. He accepted thirteen years of afflictions upon himself; six years of stones in the kidneys and seven years of scurvy [bitzfarna]. And some say it was seven years of stones in the kidneys and six years of scurvy. The Gemara relates: The stableman [ahuriyareih] of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was wealthier than King Shapur of Persia, due to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s abundant livestock. When the stableman would place fodder before the livestock, the sound of their lowing would travel the distance of three mil. He would calculate the right moment so that he would place the fodder before the animals at precisely that time when Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi entered the latrine, so that the lowing of the animals would drown out Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s screams of pain. But even so, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s voice was so loud that it overcame the sound of the livestock, and even sailors heard it out at sea. The Gemara says: But even so, the afflictions of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, were greater than those of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. The reason is that whereas the afflictions of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, came upon him out of love, and left him out of love, i.e., they were solely the result of his own request, not because he deserved them, those of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi came upon him due to an incident and left him due to another incident. The Gemara stated that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s suffering came upon him due to an incident. What was that incident that led to his suffering? The Gemara answers that there was a certain calf that was being led to slaughter. The calf went and hung its head on the corner of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s garment and was weeping. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to it: Go, as you were created for this purpose. It was said in Heaven: Since he was not compassionate toward the calf, let afflictions come upon him. The Gemara explains the statement: And left him due to another incident. One day, the maidservant of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was sweeping his house. There were young weasels [karkushta] lying about, and she was in the process of sweeping them out. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to her: Let them be, as it is written: “The Lord is good to all; and His mercies are over all His works” (Psalms 145:9). They said in Heaven: Since he was compassionate, we shall be compassionate on him, and he was relieved of his suffering. The Gemara relates: During all the years of the suffering of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, no one died prematurely, as his afflictions atoned for the entire generation. During all the years of the suffering of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the world did not require any rain, as the moisture of the dew was sufficient. As Rabba bar Rav Sheila said: A day of rain is as difficult as a day of judgment, due to the damage that storms and flooding can cause. And Ameimar said: Were it not for the fact that rain is needed by people, the Sages would pray for mercy and annul it, due to the nuisances of rain. And even so, despite the fact that there was no rain all those years, when a radish was uprooted from its row in the field, there remained in its place a hole filled with water, due to the moisture in the earth. The Gemara continues discussing Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s relationship with Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon. Once Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi arrived at the place of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon. He said to the locals: Does that righteous person have a son? They said to him: He has a son who is wayward, and any prostitute who hires herself out to others for two coins hires him for eight, due to his handsomeness. Upon hearing this report, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi resolved to extricate Rabbi Elazar’s son from his plight. He brought him back with him, ordained him as a rabbi, and gave him over to Rabbi Shimon ben Isi ben Lakonya, the brother of the boy’s mother, to teach him Torah. Each day, the boy would say: I am going back to my town, because it was difficult for him to study. Rabbi Shimon ben Isi ben Lakonya said to him: You have been made wise, and a golden cloak has been spread over you when you were ordained, and you are called by the title Rabbi, and yet you say: I am going back to my town? The boy said to him: I vow [momei] that this thought of leaving is now abandoned, i.e., I will stay and improve my ways. When the boy matured and became a Torah scholar, he came and sat in the academy of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi heard his voice and said: This voice is similar to the voice of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon. Those who were present said to him: It is his son. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi read the verse about him: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30). The Gemara explains, with regard to the phrase “the fruit of the righteous,” that this is referring to Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who was the son of a righteous individual and became a great scholar in his own right. When the verse states: “And he that is wise wins souls,” this is referring to Rabbi Shimon ben Isi ben Lakonya, who successfully helped Rabbi Yosei reach his potential. When this Rabbi Yosei died, he was brought to his father’s cave for burial. A serpent encircled the entrance of the cave, denying any access. Those present said to it: Serpent, serpent! Open your mouth, so that a son may enter next to his father. The serpent did not open its mouth for them. The people there thought that Rabbi Yosei was denied burial alongside his father because this one, Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, was greater than that one, Rabbi Yosei. A Divine Voice emerged and said: It is not because this one is greater than that one; rather, it is because this one, Rabbi Elazar, experienced the suffering of the cave, while that one, i.e., Rabbi Yosei, did not experience suffering of the cave. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, suffered with his father for thirteen years in a cave while hiding from the Romans (see Shabbat 33b). The Gemara relates a similar incident: Once Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi arrived at the place of Rabbi Tarfon. He said to the townspeople: Does that righteous person, Rabbi Tarfon, who would take an oath by the life of his children, have a son? Rabbi Tarfon was wont to take oaths by the lives of his children (see Oholot 16:1). They said to him: He does not have a son, but he has a grandson, a son from his daughter, and every prostitute who is hired for two coins hires him for eight. The townspeople brought Rabbi Tarfon’s grandson before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who said to him: If you repent from your evil ways, I will give you my daughter in marriage. He repented and became a righteous individual. There are those who say that he married Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s daughter and subsequently divorced her. There are those who say that he did not marry her at all, so that it would not be said about him: It was for the sake of that woman that this man repented. § The Gemara asks: And why did Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi exert himself so much to save these wayward sons? The Gemara answers: It is because of that which Rav Yehuda says that Rav says, and some say that which Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says, and some say that which Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: Anyone who teaches Torah to the son of another merits to sit and study in the heavenly academy, as it is stated: “Therefore so says the Lord: If you return, and I bring you back, you shall stand before Me” (Jeremiah 15:19). This verse, which is addressed to Jeremiah, indicates that if he is able to cause the Jewish people to return to God, he himself will be brought to stand before God. And anyone who teaches Torah to the son of an ignoramus achieves such an exalted status that even if the Holy One, Blessed be He, were to issue a harsh decree, He may nullify it for his sake, as it is stated in the continuation of the verse: “And if you bring forth the precious out of the worthless, you shall be as My mouth,” i.e., you will be like the mouth of God that can rescind a decree. The Gemara relates other statements pertaining to Torah scholars and their descendants. Rabbi Parnakh says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: With regard to anyone who is a Torah scholar, and whose son is a Torah scholar, and whose grandson is a Torah scholar, the Torah will never again cease from his descendants, as it is stated: “And as for Me, this is My covenant…My spirit that is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, says the Lord, from now and forever” (Isaiah 59:21). The Gemara asks: What is the significance of the phrase “says the Lord”? The Gemara answers that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I am your guarantor in this matter. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “from now and forever”? The verse mentioned only three generations. Rabbi Yirmeya says: The verse means that from this point forward, after three generations, the Torah returns to its lodging, i.e., the Torah is now ingrained in the family. The Gemara relates that Rav Yosef fasted forty fasts so that the Torah would become ingrained in his family, and he was read the verse in a dream: “My words…shall not depart out of your mouth.” He fasted an additional forty fasts and he was read: “Shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed.” He fasted an additional one hundred fasts. In a dream, he came and was read the conclusion of the verse: “Shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed.” He said: From this point forward I do not need to fast anymore, as I am now assured that the Torah will return to its lodging. The Gemara relates a similar occurrence: When Rabbi Zeira ascended from Babylonia to Eretz Yisrael, he fasted one hundred fasts so that he would forget the Babylonian method of studying Gemara, so that it would not hinder him from adapting to the unique style of study prevalent in Eretz Yisrael. He fasted an additional one hundred fasts so that Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, would not die during his lifetime, which would have caused the burden of communal matters to fall upon him. As dean of the Torah academy, Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, was in charge of all public affairs, leaving Rabbi Zeira unencumbered to study Torah. Rabbi Zeira fasted an additional one hundred fasts so that the fire of Gehenna should not affect him. The Gemara relates with regard to Rabbi Zeira: Every thirty days, he would examine himself to ascertain if he remained on his exalted level. He would ignite an oven, climb in, and sit inside it, and the fire would not affect him. One day, the Sages gave him the evil eye, i.e., they were envious of him, and his legs became singed in the fire. And from then on they referred to him as: The short one with singed legs. § The Gemara discusses the topic of the acquisition of Torah knowledge. Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Who is the wise man, that he may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why has the land been lost and laid waste like a wilderness, so that none passes through?” (Jeremiah 9:11). This matter, i.e., the question: Why has the land been lost,
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דיון
המדרש מספר שני סיפורים אודות רבי יהודה הנשיא - הראשון הוא הסיבה לייסורים שבאו עליו, והסיפור השני הוא הסיבה לכך שייסורים אלה פסקו.

מה מנסה לבטא בעל המדרש באמצעות סיפורים אלה? איזו עמדה כלפי בעלי חיים משתקפת מסיפור זה?

נסו לעמת מקור זה עם המקור הראשון שלמדנו מספר בראשית, וכן עם המקור מספר החינוך. האם אפשר ליישב בין מקורות אלה?
16טז
חשבוננו עם עצמנו, א.ד גורדון, בתוך: האומה והעבודה, ירושלים : הספריה הציונית, תשי"ז , עמ' 373
אנו שבים אל הטבע, אבל לא בתור עבדים ולא בתור אדונים, אף לא בתור תיירים וחוקרים, המסתכלים מרום ידענותם במה למעלה ומה למטה, כי אם בתור שותפים אקטיביים ובתור אחים נאמנים: אנחנו באים להשתתף עם הטבע בחיים וביצירה. יותר נכון, אנחנו באים להתאחד עם הטבע בייחוד שלם, בבחינת: האדם והטבע - חד הוא. כל החומות, הגדרים והסייגים בין חיי האדם ובין חיי הטבע ייהרסו. ים אחד גדול לאין סוף של חיים, יש של חיי עולם, עולם מלא של יחסים חדשים, של ערכים חדשים! הן מעתה יש לנו יחס - יחס ישר, נפשי, עמוק, לכל רגב אדמה, לכל אבן ולכל סלע, לכל עשב ולכל עץ, לכל חי ולכל רמש, כמו לכל בשמים, לכל העולמות אשר במרחבי אין קץ ולכל אשר בהם - כולנו אחים, כולנו שותפים בחיי עולם, בצער עולם, בשירת עולם, ביצירת עולם, במחשבת עולם, באמת עולם. פה יכול כל אחד להביא לידי גילוי את עצמיותו בכל שלמותה מבלי לנגוע אף כמלוא נימה בשל אחרים.
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