07 December 2009

Gone ape

When seeing an elephant or a monkey for the first time, one recites the Bracha of Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Meshaneh HaBriyos. (Shulchan Aruch 225:8)

The reason these two animals are singled out for this Bracha, when all other animals have their own unique appearance, is as follows:

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 109a) tells us that one of the punishments that Hashem meted out to the Dor Haflaga, the people who tried to build the tower to heaven and wage war on Hashem, was to turn them into apes. (Unlike the evolutionists who believe that man evolved from monkeys, the opposite is true: monkeys actually evolved from man!)

According to this Gemara, apes were not created during the 6 days of creation and were only "changed" from humans as a punishment. So the Bracha of "Meshane HaBriyos.." is understandable (Maleches Shlomo to Mishna in K'layim Perek 8:6 Dibur Hamaschil Hapil V'HaKof alludes to the above and adds that elephants understand the language of man, and thus are "different" and require this Bracha.)

No comments: