Midot Hayom: Day 34 Yesod in Hod
Tuesday evening, May 12: Just as the Tzaddikim of old were pious, so were their animals pious. Robbers stole the donkey of Rabbi Chaninah ben Dosa. They tied the donkey in a yard and placed straw, barley, and water before it, but it did not want to eat or drink because the food had not been tithed. The robbers said, “Why should we let it die of starvation and smell up our yard?” They opened the gate and drove it out. It walked along until it reached Rabbi Chanina’s house. His son, hearing it bray, said, “Father, this sounds like our animal.” Said Rabbi Chaninah, “Son, open the door and let it in, for it is about to die from hunger.” He opened the door, placed straw, barley, and water before it, and it ate and drank. Avot of Rabbi Nathan 8:8
Everything owned by a Tzaddik is changed by its owner, even his animals. The Tzaddik is so connected to God that he perceives each thing he owns as a gift from God. He sees his possessions differently because of his connection to God as the Source of all his blessings. Even Rabbi Chaninah’s animals would not “sin” because they were so connected to their master.
Our challenge on this day of the Omer is to spend extra time appreciating each and everything we own as a gift from God. We will change our possessions, even our cars, into conscious expressions of God’s love and care for us. They will, then, only bring further blessing.