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  • Writer's picturedanaevankaplan

Our Pet Blessing this past Sunday

We had a great Second Annual Pet Blessing in Memory of Helen Small this past Sunday!

Helen's husband and mother came to help us remember such a wonderful woman. Here is Francis with Linda and Linda's furry friend.

We want to thank God for our wonderful animal companions who enrich our lives. We want to thank God for their presence in the world and their involvement in our lives.

Here is Gabe with his mom and their furry friend.

Nate and Iris with Beemer, who did not remember me!

Mike Pereira in hat and shades initiated the idea. Marc and Deborah are to the right.

Gail and Jonathan with 2 of their 5 dogs.

There is a story in the Talmud that recounts how Eliezer, who helped Abraham, asked Shem, one of Noah three sons, how they were able to take care of all of the animals? Shem answered that this was indeed a tremendous problem because some of the animals needed to be fed during the day, while others needed to be fed at night. Some of the animals ate specific diets that were well-known, such as the koala that would eat only eucalyptus. But other animals had an unknown diet that was a complete mystery to Noah. If Noah had had access to the Internet, he would have googled it, but he didn’t, so he had to figure out what a certain species would eat. Remember, also, that if even one animal died, it would be the end of that species forever. So, a lot was riding on Noah’s ability to figure things out and to do it quickly. Sometimes, he just got lucky. Despite repeated efforts, the two chameleons would not eat anything that Noah offered. Then one day, Noah was cutting up a pomegranate, when a small green worm dropped out of it. One of the two chameleons lunged for it immediately, grabbed the green worm with his tongue, tossed it in the air and swallowed it all in one motion.

One of the interesting things that developed last year was that several of the children wanted to remember beloved pets who had passed away. In Albany, a family slipped the name of their recently deceased pet onto our Yom Kippur Yizkor Service booklet and because the dog had a first name like George or Felix, no one noticed it until it was already published. One family objected that they didn’t think it was proper that the name of a dog appeared right before the name of their grandmother, but for those of us who love our pets dearly, there wasn’t anything slightly bizarre about this--but that is not the custom. So, the pet blessing provides us with an opportunity to not only celebrate the lives of the pets who are with us, but also to remember fondly and with love the pets that are no longer with us and who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

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