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How Can I Represent Cows? I Eat Them! (Prayer 3)

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So far, we have seen that prayer is part of our way of communicating with the Creator. In addition, we have begun to understand the significance of our encounter with Him. Our link to the Creator, the One who created everything and gives life to everything, connects me to the source of the energy of life. It gives me positive energy and enhances my life here in this world.

And now, we come to the next question. Okay, incredible – we, human beings, have been privileged to have the tremendous power of speech. We can express our thoughts and our emotions to everybody else. We can also "speak" (pray) to the Creator.

However, what about all the other parts of the world, those without the beautiful ability to define concepts and express their thoughts? Do they need prayer? Do they have any way to "speak" to the Creator? What about the animals? Or the plants? What about the fish in the sea? The rocks and the earth itself? Do any of these entities need this thing called prayer? Are they involved in prayer in any way? Is there any reason for them to need the ability to speak to their Creator?

The answer is that the same principle applies to them and humanity. Since we understand that the world was created out of nothing, it is clear that if the Creator ever decides to retake possession of what He placed into the creatures, which allows them to exist, the animals will once again return to being "nothing." Thus, every creature must always maintain close contact with the Creator. Otherwise, if there is no contact, where will it get the energy to continue to exist!?

But this idea presents us with a severe problem.

None of the other creatures can speak. Precisely how can they maintain contact with the One who Created them? We, humans, can pick up our "smartphones" whenever we want (we can start to pray) and speak to the Creator whenever we need to do so. But what about the rest of the world? What can it do?

And now I must share with you yet another secret that the nation of Israel has closely guarded throughout all history. Let me start with an introductory note. Prof. Albert Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity, was asked how he could be sure that all the physical laws on earth remain valid and precise on other planets beyond the world. (The ancient philosophers thought there were two sets of physical rules.) Prof. Einstein replied that his answer to this is based on a belief in a single God.

In the same way, based on our faith in one God who created the entire universe and everything we see in our world, we can begin to understand the link between the various parts of the world. Here is a remarkable passage from the works of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook that describes his approach:

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A man stands and asks himself what need there is for the many different types of activity in the world and the massive variety of creatures.

The dormant lifestyle of the mineral realm (no stone will ever display life or awareness...) represents the most rudimentary level of the spark of light which begins to shine in the world of vegetation, where it is divided into hundreds of thousands of different lines, each one unique. These lines form the "temple" of life, where we encounter life full of joy, reaching up to the epitome of the world's creatures – humankind! However, the very essence of man's life is merely a part of giant waves in the sea, which move back and forth based on the forces of the reality of life... If you want to ask how you can speak, smell, feel, see, understand, and have emotions – know that all life (including all the lower forms of creation which preceded humankind) provides you with an abundance that comprises your existence.

No tiny point is superfluous – every intermediate level is necessary, and it all has a role to play. This includes you and everything at a lower level than you. You are linked to and rise with everything beyond your understanding and at a higher level than you are."

The entire world, with all its components and subsystems, is a "single living system," as Prof. Einstein implied. Every element receives something from the levels below it and passes it on to the higher levels.

Since "there is no soul which is disconnected and alone in creation, but everything is weaved into one huge tapestry," the prayers of humankind are not only an expression of an inner thirst for the contact between the individual and the Creator. Instead, prayer gathers within it the yearning of the entire creation to return to its source. While for most of the world, the need and the desire for a link to the Divine is expressed by silence, we humans who can talk act as messengers for the cow, the fish, the stones, and the water. Some of these elements are incorporated into our bodies and provide us with our life force. And we express the natural desires of all the other things, even those we do not eat.

One question remains: Why is there such suffering in the world? Why is so much lacking, such that prayers are necessary?

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