Of Spiders and More.. Mah Rabbu

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By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5TJT.com

There are so many aspects of Hashem’s Divine Wisdom that they are uncountable.

But here is a truly remarkable one: spiders. Darwin once made an observation when he was on a ship 60 miles from land. Previously the ship had no spiders, but one day it was covered with them.

Where did they come from? One theory was that spiders expose their abdomens to the wind and release strands of silk. The wind carries the spiders via the silk – kind of like a parachute.

But it didn’t make sense. The wind wasn’t strong enough to carry them so far, and why didn’t the wind didn’t dislodge the silk?

Darwin bleibed mit a tzarich iyun.

Recently researchers discovered the answer. The earth has some 30,000 thunderstorms each day. The ground has a negative magnetic charge. The atmosphere has a positive charge.

A study by University of Bristol sensory biophysicist Erica Morley explained that when a spider releases silk, the magnetic charge of its body changes. It becomes more negative. When flexing its abdomen, the negative charge of the earth repels the spider’s body and it goes further up. It can navigate across and thus, it can fly, but with a twist.  It rides the magnetic changes.

Although wind is an important factor in the ballooning process and the miles that the spiders ultimately travel, Morley has shown that the  ballooning behavior is started by electric fields.

Wow! Mah Rabu Maasecha Hashem!

The Chovos HaL’vavos in his Shaar Habechinah states that looking at the wonders of the world and seeing the incredible intricacy of them all is, in fact, an obligation.

He writes that the unity of Hashem and can be demonstrated by examining of the wisdom in the Universe Hashem made. He writes that it is the most direct way to a true realization of Hashem’s existence.

And now, perhaps a new understanding of that pasuk found in Tehillim chapter 104, the 24th pasuk.

How great are Your works, O Hashem! You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is filled with Your creations!

The following imaginary situation, based upon Ed Yong’s recent book, “An Immense World,” gave this author a thought.  The thought was that, perhaps, this concept – about to be presented – is alluded to in Dovid HaMelech’s pasuk that we recite daily.

Imagine a fairly large room that, for now, contains an elephant and a mouse.  A bird, a robin, joins in.  Then an owl and an upside-down bat come along.  There is now a rattle snake on the floor and a spider with its web in the corner.  There is a mosquito in the room, and a bumblebee on a potted plant.  And then there is a human, we will call him Ralph.

The elephant lifts its trunk to perceive its world, it smells nothing significant.  The rattlesnake, however, through flicking its tongue, detects the mouse’s recent pathway.  “Hmm, it thinks, supper is nearby.”

The mosquito smells the CO2 just emitted by Ralph’s breathing out and the delicious aroma of that which Ralph’s skin now evaporates.  It lands on Ralph’s bare arm.  “Food! At last,” it thinks.  But Ralph swats away at it.

The slap on Ralph’s arm now disturbs the mouse.  It squeaks, severely frightened.  The bat hears it.  The elephant does not – to the elephant the squeal is inaudible.

And speaking of our elephant, it now wishes to communicate with its shidduch, who is a little over six miles away – that’s from Boro Park to JFK as the crow flies.  It produces a very low-frequency noice between 1 and 20 Hertz called an infrasound in order to do this.  We only discovered these infrasounds in the 1980’s.

Ralph, however, hears no mouse’s squeal and no Shidduch lament of the elephant.  Ralph hears only the beautiful sound of the robin. Ralph does not fathom the complexities of that which is encoded in the robin’s tune.

Ralph sees the robin’s chest as red.  The elephant just sees different shades of blue and yellow.  The bumblebee is also does not perceive red – but can detect ultra-violet hues, shades and colors. It is sitting on top of sunflower plant which as an ultra-violet bulls-eye – invisible to Ralph, but can be seen by the bumblebee as well as the robin.   There is more, much more, but we get the picture.

And now, onto the new insight.

Each of these creations of Hashem is wonderous.  It’s perception of the world around it –  is particularly suited to its own particular needs. They have all been created with uncanny wisdom – a Divine wisdom.  And they all occupy the same space, and the world is filled with these creations of Yours – Hashem.

Mah Rabbu Maasecha!

The author can be reached at [email protected]


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