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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Generation with the face of a dog

The face of the generation will resemble the face of dog – פני הדור כפני כלב
This is the description of the Mishna at the end of tractate Sotah. The commentaries explain this to refer to imputence and brazenness. However, it occurs to me that there is another intention here.
Dogs are so loyal to their masters, but even more they are loving. This I have observed many times how dogs ingratiate their masters, and their masters revel in this love and attention. Jews never were big into dogs. In fact Rabbi Nachman revealing in his Book of Traits (Sefer Hamidos, Hamtukas Hadinim – Sweetening of Judgements #92) – one who raises a dog arouses din (judgement). For many this relationship of rosy love and attention from the dog is fulfilling and meaningful, but Jews were rarely that superficial. Sure animal life is important and respected, but where does it come to par in the relationship of a human being?!

The Mishna is describing the relationship we see today between the contemporary rabbis and their congregations, where the rabbis dole out to their masses all the beautiful messages that are expected from them. It so warm and rosy, and it so devoid of import.

Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman!

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