The Ostrich Syndrome
Everything is Certainly for the Best

Learning Morals from an Ant

If you see an ant, don't stomp on it; observe the little critter - he's carrying a message from Hashem:

Go to the ant, sluggard; see its ways and become wise. (Proverbs 6:6) [Perek Shira, Chapter 6]

Let's view an example of nature's classroom, the divine wisdom within each creation. Look at an anthill. Ants teach us three main lessons - honesty, faith, and diligence. Observe closely, and you'll see why.

Ants are invertebrates - they don't have a spine. Most invertebrates overheat and dehydrate in full sunlight; therefore, most of their activity above ground level is either in early morning, in late evening, or in full shade. If an ant tells a lie, his peers execute him immediately.

In bright sunlight, we don't see any ants crawling around. If we were to cast a shadow over the mound, a leader ant would peek his head out of the main entrance and walk around freely in the shade. Then, he'd return to the edge of the hole to call his buddies to come outside and join him. Meanwhile, if we were to remove the object that cast the shadow, and the emerging ants would not find shade, they'd kill the leader ant for lying to them. Ants don't tolerate the slightest form of dishonesty.

An ant lives for approximately six months, yet a grain and a half of wheat is sufficient food for its entire lifetime. If we were to dig down to the central warehouses of the anthill, we'd find about three hundred grains per ant. Each ant gathers enough food for two hundred years!

An ant never stops working, because he has faith that The Almighty will grant him a lengthy life. An ant never steals nor covets. The moment he takes a bite from a grain, the grain acquires the unique odor of its owner's saliva. No other ant will dare touch the grain of a comrade. So, by observing ants, we learn about honesty, diligence, and faith.

Shouldn't we demand from ourselves the minimal moral standards of an ant?

Comments

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Michelle Nevada

B"H

And don't forget, Rabbi . . . all the ants you can see are females!

Look around at Sukkot. Who is making all the food, setting up for the guests, never stopping?

Look to your wives and take a moment to thank them.

It is not just the ant who works from sunrise to sunset!

:)

Ravparry

"Meanwhile, if we were to remove the object that cast the shadow, and the emerging ants would not find shade, they'd kill the leader ant for lying to them. Ants don't tolerate the slightest form of dishonesty."

True, as the Talmud in Chullin illustrates by a story involving one of the sages. But aren't these little in-vertebrae who would lynch their leader engaging in "Ant-archy?"

Chag Someach, Aaron Parry, LA

BD Kaufman

For some more amazing perspectives of ant colonies see: http://www.antstuff.net/html/the_ant_city.html

ben Shlomo

A Jewish gent who took this very seriously was Milton Levine. Mr. Levine who just passed away last week at the age of 97, was the creator of the Ant Farm. Most people would be unaware of the little lesson the ant teaches, without Mr. Levine's help.

As a kid, he watched the ants, and according to a radio interview of his son, he incorporated the ant's work ethic into his own life.

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