LION AND LAMB TOGETHER

One fine Sunday, Berel decided to go to the local zoo with his wife and kids.

As he neared the lion’s cage, he was astonished to see a lamb lying peacefully with a lion beside her.

“That’s wonderful,” he cried. “Finally, the prophecy from the Good Book is realized!”

Berel ran to the zookeeper. “My congratulations! You have finally made everyone see that peace is at hand.  But tell me,” he implored the zookeeper, “how do you make a lion lie down with the lamb?”

“It’s no problem,” replied the zookeeper. “Every morning, I simply put another lamb in the lion’s cage!”

Source: Slightly adapted from Gedalia Peterseil,
Tell It from the Torah
(Pitspopany Press, 1998) page 143

CONSIDER THIS

Here’s God’s dream for humanity according to the Good Book:

The wolf will romp with the lamb,
the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
and a little child will tend them.

Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,
their calves and cubs grow up together,
and the lion eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens,
the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent.
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
on my holy mountain.
The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive,
a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide. – Isaiah 11:6-9

Normally the lamb is lunch for the lion and the goat is a snack for the leopard.  Animals that don’t normally get on – eat together and rest side by side in peace.  And what is more “a child will lead them”,  the prophet Isaiah says.  Animals that we would hardly describe as suitable pets for a child – wolves, leopards, lions and snakes are play mates for a little child. There is no fear and no anxiety.  The helpless and the innocent live in safety and have no dread of the big and the powerful.

Is this just a perfect picture of a perfect world?  Is this just a dream, a surrealistic vision? What do you think is possible in a world that is still wounded by so much division?

WHICH BUS SHOULD I TAKE HOME

A young father was spending the day at the zoo with his six-year-old son.  When they came to the tigers’ cage, the father explained how ferocious and strong tigers are.  The little boy’s eyes grew bigger and bigger till finally he asked nervously, “Daddy, if the tiger got out of his cage and ate you up…”

“Yes, son?” said the father, ready to soothe and reassure him.

But the boy continued, “If the tiger got out and ate you up, which bus should I take home?”

Source | Eva Blank and Alison Benjamin,
Jokelopedia,(Workman Publishing Company, 2013)

CONSIDER THIS

Things are not always as they seem.

STUDYING THE LOCK

A group of lions in a zoo, suffering grievously from their imprisonment, formed themselves into various groups. There was the patriotic group: these would meet very often and sing sad songs about their jungle home; nostalgia was their specialty. Then there was the political group whose meetings were always so noisy that you had the impression they were good for something. And then there were a few groups whose interest was entertainment; their aim was to distract themselves from their predicament. But there was one lion who refused to join any of these groups. He would sit in front of the gate and stare straight ahead all day.  the others thought him anti-social and depressed, and they stopped inviting him to join their groups. One day, out of pity, one  of them sat down beside him and asked gently, “What goes on in your poor sad mind as you sit all day staring?”

“I’m studying the lock.” he replied.

Source |  Donaugh O’Shea OP, In a Fitful Light. Conversations On Christian Living
(Dominican Publications, 1994 ) pages 128-129

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • The lone lion, a philosopher lion! Was he not the only practical animal in the whole zoo?