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"Their flocks, their cattle, their donkeys, whatever was in the town and whatever was in the field, they took" (Bereishis 34:28).

The Netziv points out that although the Children of Ya'akov did not take the household possessions of the town of Shechem, they took the animals with them. This, he explains, is because the animals would have died with no owners to take care of them, and the Torah commands us to care for them.

Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spector ztvk"l, Chief Rabbi of Kovne, once went to a neighboring village, across the river, to rest for a while in the clear air there.

The following morning, the Rabbi got up early and went out into the street with a letter in his hand. He searched for someone who would agree to cross the river and deliver the urgent letter to his family who had remained in Kovne.

A youngster, who was very curious to know what urgent matter was in the letter, volunteered to be the messenger. All the way, the boy debated within himself whether or not to open the letter and read it, but when he got to the other side of the river, he succumbed. Utterly amazed, he read the words of the great Rabbi.

"It says in Tehillim that Hashem has mercy on all of his creations. In our courtyard, there is a cat which I provide every day with some milk. She relies on me, and I forgot to appoint someone to take care of her. Please, I beg of you, have pity upon me. I cannot rest here until I know that someone is caring for the cat which Hashem created."

This was on the mind of the Torah Giant!

(Recounted by Rabbi Zilberstein shlita in Barechi Nafshi.)

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel