Let My People Know

"The tiger devours the doe, but the worms who eat up the tiger are not strong"


If only we detach ourselves from our habitual viewpoint we shall see that death, the cruelty of the struggle for survival, is merely one point in the cycle of life, the unending cycle of creation and recreation, of shifting from one form of life to another—in which there is no death at all. 

This is how our ancient sages interpreted the verse "He shall be our guide even unto death" (Psalm 48:15): He will guide us up and above death, in eternal life.

The strong may overpower the weak, but here there are no strong ones, no weak ones. 

The tiger devours the doe, but the worms who eat up the tiger are not strong, nor is the grass that is nourished by worms. 

And the doe eats that grass. 

There are no weak or strong here, only a long cycle of life, no cruelty, but rather a transformation of familiar forms into new forms, new lives.

We can, perhaps, now read what sounded like a mockery—"His tender mercies extend over all His works"—with a slightly different emphasis: "His tender mercies extend over all His works," over all of them equally

Unlike our limited capacity for mercy, our limited worldview, He feels endless mercy for all His works, which change form but do not lose their spiritual contents—their souls. 

The forms give birth to new souls. 

The forms die and are reborn. 

The dead live and are created anew.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From  On Being Free, "And His Tender Mercies Extend over All His Works,"  p. 213