Section:  Avodah   Category: Perek Shira
Perek Shira: Like Sheep To The Slaughter

Sheep have almost no capability to defend themselves. It is a weak animal that falls prey to wolves and other predators. Its only hope is when a shepherd comes along and offers it protection. Now the sheep can relax and enjoy grazing in the pasture secure in the knowledge that someone is looking after it and protecting it from all evil. Lo and behold one day the sheep's "protector" brings the sheep to a slaughterhouse where a man stands with a big knife slaughtering all the sheep one by one! As the sheep looks nervously to their protector waiting for him to take action, they see him calmly standing on the side doing absolutely nothing to stop this massacre.

We sing in Chad Gadya, Klal Yisroel is the sheep and all the nations are the predators. Thankfully Hashem is our protector and keeps us safe against all the odds. In the cycle of our history that keeps repeating itself, Am Yisroel lives through relatively peaceful periods until suddenly one day we find ourselves in the slaughterhouse. We turn our eyes to Heaven waiting for our protector to stop the bloodshed and destroy the slaughterer and the slaughterhouse. But lo and behold we see Hashem, who owns the whole operation and employs all the butchers, standing on the side in absolute silence!

The sheep sing, "Mi Kamocha B'Aleilim Hashem"; who is like you among the strong ones Hashem. The Gemara in Gittin (56b) says that the chachomim, perplexed by Hashem's lack of response to Titus's abominable behavior in the Kodesh HaKodashim, darshaned the pasuk "Mi Kamocha Ba"ilmim Hashem"; who is like you Hashem who has the ability to destroy all his enemies yet has the strength to control his wrath and his revenge while his most sacred possessions, Am Yisroel and the Bais HaMikdash are being violated by a lowly employee. From our shallow perspective we don't understand why history has been so cruel to us but surely if our almighty shepherd is silent it is definitely all for our own good.