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The parable of the wolf and the dog


One fine day, a German shepard dog got lost in a forest. As he was coming around a tree, he came face to face with a big wolf, who snarled and bared his fangs and said to the dog, “Prepare to die, you miserable creature.”

The dog shook with fear, and bending low to the ground, pleaded for his life, “Please, Mr. Wolf, spare me.”

“Spare you?” the wolf snarled. “You disgusting creature, why should I spare you? I hate you, you dog.”

“But…but why do you hate me?” the dog asked.

“I will tell you why I hate you. I hate you because when you dogs greet each other, you sniff each others’ behinds. When a wolf greets another wolf, he kisses him on the lips.”

“Please, Mr. Wolf, have mercy on me. I promise I will cause no trouble in this forest,” said the quaking dog.

“Grrr,” growled the wolf, and said, “I do not know why I am going to spare you, but I am. But one word of warning: the next time you see a wolf, you had better kiss him on the lips, or you’re a dead dog.”

So, the wolf left. The dog pulled himself together and went on his way in the forest.
A little while later, he saw another wolf coming towards him. So the dog ran up to the wolf and gave him a big kiss on the lips.

The wolf took a couple of steps back and eyed the dog up and down, and thought to himself, “It looks like a dog, but acts like a wolf. Must be bad breeding.” And the wolf went on his way.

And this is how things went for the next few years. Every time the dog would see a wolf, he would run up and kiss him on the lips, and the wolf would let him live.

One day, he saw another wolf heading his way, so he ran up to him and kissed him on the lips, and the wolf said with a sneer and snarl, “Hey, who are you trying to fool? I’m the guy you met when you first came here. Kiss my behind.”

This parable is an old Chassidishe maaseh. I heard it from Rav Ellie Touger who heard it from Rav Mendel Futerfass, ztz"l,  In the original Yiddish telling, the punchline is, “Kish mir in tuchus,” but it also works in English.

It is not just a coarse joke, although it is that also. It is a moshol, a parable that explains something that could not be explained as well in direct communication, because the point of it is too subtle. That subtle point that the moshol explains is called the nimshol. This particular moshol happens to be a fable, where animals demonstrate human characteristics.

Apropos of this, we see a lot of preaching of near-Torah on Facebook and Youtube by people who this moshol describes fairly well. People who left avodah zara a few years ago, such as Messianic Judaism (Christianity), and now are Noahides or Ger or baalei tshuvah or even Jewish converts, all newbies who lack the grace and humility to keep their head low among their elders. The Torah is not hefker (abandoned). In Geulah, the Levites and the Elders are its custodians. And you do not want to mess with either the Levites or the Elders, not if you believe in G-d. He is a Father, but not an American-type father. This Father is a King and expects His kingdom to be run the way He wants it, not necessarily the way we want it. It is not His job to adjust to our way of thinking. It is our job to adjust to His way of thinking. And He does not like competition. 

For the record: sometimes the Light has to be coarse for soiled vessels to be able to receive it  And in this generation, all our vessels are soiled.



Chaim Clorfene