Bilam’s donkey from this past weeks Parsha! That donkey was special as not all donkeys can talk to humans. In fact Donkeys are pretty dumb animals. The Torah even says that, right before Akeidas Yitzchak. Yishmael was told by Avraham to stay with the donkeys, hinting that Yishmmael was dumb like a donkey.

Now back to that time before the first Shabbo! Hashem created 10 things he would need in the future, each playing its own role. Pirkei Avos tells us (Perek 5, Mishana 6):

 Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbos eve. These are: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam’s] well; the mouth of [Balaam’s] donkey; the rainbow; the manna; [Moses’] staff; the shamir; the writing, the inscription and the tablets [of the Ten Commandments]. Some say also the burial place of Moses and the ram of our father Abraham. And some say also the spirits of destruction as well as the original tongs, for tongs are made with tongs.

In bulleted form (Thank you Shaina)

1) the mouth of the earth (to swallow Korach)
2) the mouth of the well that provided water for the Jews in the desert
3)the mouth of Bilaam’s talking donkey
4)the rainbow that appeared after the flood
5)the manna
6)Moshe’s staff
7)the shamir worm that split the stones for the Temple
8)the form of the letters of the Tablets
9)the engraving of the Tablets
10)the Tablets

There are also some other suggested ones like:

  • The first tongs (you cannot make tongs without having tongs to put the metal in the furnace!)
  • The burial place of Moshe
  • The ram that Avraham used instead of Yitzchak at the akeida
  • and the Yetzer Hora

Some of this list may seem surprising. Like why was the engraving of the Tablets and the Tablets made separately? The engraving on the Tablets were so cool, as from whichever direction you saw it from, it appeared the right way to you.

The amazing part is Hashem’s foresight. Here so many years before some of these events happened, He had the soloution for it. This is rather comforting in our own lives. Just imagine, before you were born, Hashem said “In the future {your name} will be born, and she will need {something e.g. your family, your socio-econmic standing, your friends} to fufill her tafkid in this world,” and that is why you have all the things you have! “Bishvili Nevra Ha’olom (for me the world was created)”. He knew we had to build the Bais Hamikdash and cut its stones with out any tools – so he created the Shamir worm.I love Hashem – don’t you?!

Next Weeks Question: Which people in Tanach were immortal?