Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
Rav Eliyahu Lopian Feeds The Cat

One day in Yeshivas Kfar Chassidim, the almanah of the late Rosh Yeshivah, Rav Noach Shimanovich, went down to the storage room together with one of the bochurim to bring up some supplies for the kitchen.  While they were in the storage room, they heard suspicious noises.  When Rebbetzin Shimanovich asked the bochur what the source of the scurrying noises were, he told her that the bochurim had spotted mice on several occasions.  Rebbetzin Shimanovich was aghast at this news, and asked the bochurim to find a solution to the problem.  The bochurim located a cat that would hopefully take care of the burgeoning mice population in the yeshivah.

A few weeks late, the Gaon Rav Eliyahu Lopian was walking around the yeshivah building on his daily walk accompanied by a bachur.  They were discussing words of Torah when they suddenly ran into the yeshivah cat.  Rav Eliyahu was surprised – this was the first time he had seen a cat on the yeshivah grounds.   

“Whose cat is this?” inquired Rav Lopian.  The bochur explained that the cat had been brought to the yeshivah to curtail the mice problem.   

Rav Lopian inquired further, “And who feeds her?”

The bochur answered, “What do you mean?  She has plenty of food –she eats the mice.  We don’t need to bring her food.”
Rav Lopian answered, “I don’t understand.  If she does her job well, and scares off the mice, she won’t have anything left to eat!  We surely have to provide her with food.”

Rav Lopian then entered his apartment and brought out a bowl of milk.  He said to the bochur, “When you want one of Hashem’s creations to serve you and work for you, you need to provide it with food.  This is an explicit mitzvah in the Torah, “And I will put grass in your fields for your cattle –and you will eat...”   (Leorum Neilech)