Daf Yomi Nazir 10
A little boy asks his mother, “Where do we come from?”
His mother answers, “G-d made Adam and Eve and they had children and we all descend from them.”
A few days later the boy asks his father the same question, who responds, “Many years ago there were monkeys from which human beings evolved. We people come from the apes.”
The confused boy returns to his mother and says, “Mommy, how is it possible that you told me the people were created by G-d, and Daddy says we come from monkeys?”
“Well, dear, it’s very simple,” his mother replies, “I told you about my side of the family, and your father told you about his.”
Mishnah: If a person said: This cow declared, ‘I hereby undertake to be a nazir if I stand up,’ or this door declared, ‘I hereby undertake to be a nazir if I open,’ Beis Shamai rules the person is a nazir and Beis Hillel rules he is not a nazir.
Gemara: Can a cow talk? Rami bar Chama explains: Let’s say the cow is lying down and the person says, ‘This poor cow thinks it can’t get up. I’ll tell you what, if she can get up on her own, I’ll vow nazirism from her meat.’ Lo and behold, the cow gets up.
Tosfos explains: Cows don’t think. People looking at cows think, and they imagine what the cow must be thinking, projecting their human thoughts onto the cow or the door.
Human beings are the pinnacle of creation. G-d created us infinitely different to any other creature. We have the ability to think, communicate and make choices. Every human being was created in the ‘image of G-d.’
But for some people, it’s much easier to go with the flow and surrender to the forces of nature. If I come from some poor amoeba washed ashore that randomly mutated into a monkey, I’m not really responsible for very much at all, am I? It doesn’t really matter what ‘choices’ I make, it’s all pretty much a random combination of luck and chaos out there.
So how do you choose what to do? You might as well let the cow or the door determine your choices. If it gets up or opens, great, you’ll do something religious. If not, you’ll let it go.
That’s no way to lead your life! You shouldn’t be allowing nature to control you; G-d created you with the ability to master nature. You control your destiny, not random goings-on around you. If you’re making decisions based on natural occurrences, you’ve lost your way and neglected your Divinity!
You’re not a random mutation. The Almighty chose you to be right here, right now. May you merit taking that cow by the horns and not waiting until G-d sends it charging towards you to get you going with your Divine mission!