Pesachim 52- Lessons from animals and maybe a Emunah

Peschim 52 is based upon the pasuk in Vayikra 25:7 regarding produce of the Shmittah year. One may eat produce of a shmitta year (things grown naturally duriing the 7th year- stuff not planted) However one can only consume this stuff as long as the produce is in the field for the animal to consume. The pasuk states “and for your animal and for the beast that is in your land shall all its crop it. ” Therefore, how long one may eat a certain fruit or produce is dependent on how long it is available for the animal.

The Talmud on 52 goes off on a discussion if somone brings some produce from a place where the stuff is still considered eatable to a place where the y have stopped eating the food. It then asks a crazy a questions. What if the produce is still available on the tree for the animal but it is stuck in a thorn? Is that still available for the animal and therefore can it be deemed permisslble to us?

The shikkerdovid would like to think about this. Putting aside the Talmud’ s inquiry about time of eating or ability to eat, the shikerdovid marvels that our eating is dependenent on availabilty for animals and being caught in thorns. We are dependent on animals . The question about the food stuck in the thorns is a kind of existential a question for the SD. Food is there. Food is tantalizing, the animal can almost touch it. Yet is just out of the animal’s reach because of the thorn. This is a metaphor for us. Sometimes things we need are really near our grasp, we can almost grab, yet it is elusive.

What is the lesson? Well in the words of my erstwhile rebbe, the Emuha Daily… it is emunah. Faith in Gd. Faith that what we should get or reach or take is right for us. If it is just beyond our reach or beyond the reach of the animal, well … not in the cards. Emunah allows us to realize that the beautiful fruit “caught in the thorns” is a lesson. It is a matter of faith. Faith that what should be ours, will be. If it is caught in the thorns and beyond the animal or us, then have emunah, not in the cards.

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