Re: The Nachash [Snake]

Robert Klein (
Fri, 21 Feb 1997 16:54:10 +0200 (IST)

In TF #26, ENisenbaum wrote:
<< Perhaps the reason the Torah only mentions its(the Nachash) feet being
cut off and forced to slither is like I once saw from the Steipler Rav,
that the human being is the only creature which walks erect with his head
held high.Even the monkey, ape or bird does not hold its head up high like
a human being does. This represents the human's superiority , which lies in
his head, i.e. intelligence and ability to make moral decisions. >>

Does this mean that we can count penguins in a minyan?

Seriously though, the point is well taken that true superiority lies in
spiritual depth and not physical prowess. Perhaps the Torah *is* hinting at
the loss of spiritual depth by using the metaphor of slithering.
Nevertheless, I see Rambam's (Maimonides) approach as more complete and with
more to learn from. Positing that all cavemen were suddenly morphed into
modern day snakes because one of their kind sinned doesn't sound convincing
to me.

Robert Klein