Article appeared in Hamodia פרשת ויחי תשס"ו
THE MOUSE STANDS ALONE
There is popular misconception that we can close our eyes to issues that fall under the category of "NIMBY" (Not in my backyard). The following allegory illustrates how what's not in your backyard may in reality be much closer than you think.
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might that contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! The chicken clucked and scratched her head and said "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it's no consequence to me. I can't be bothered by it".
The mouse turned to the goat and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! The goat sympathized but said "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers".
The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! The cow said "Wow" Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose." So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night, a sound was heard throughout the house-like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmers wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with chicken soup, so the farmer went to the farmyard to fetch the main ingredient for the fresh chicken soup. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat. The farmer's wife's condition wasn't improving. So many people came to the house that the farmer slaughtered the cow to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness."I warned them all-but they knew it was only my problem". Remember, each of us is a vital thread in another persons tapestry; So the next time you hear someone in our community is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember-when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED! (Wake up and smell the coffee!) עורו ישנים וכו