29 May 2012

Ants for the antless

One of the character traits prized in Judaism is zerizus, which translates as... what, exactly?
Occasionally you see it translated as "alacrity".
When my friend asks her children, "Who wants to get Abba a cup of water?" her son from the Yiddish-speaking cheder exclaims "Zrizus!" as he topples off his booster seat and sprints for the kitchen, so I guess that's the definition he's been taught.

King Solomon instructs lazy people to "Go to the ant... see her ways, and become wise." (Prov. 6:6) If you watch ants (at least, the ones in my neighborhood), their most outstanding characteristic is not exactly frenzied haste. What they possess supports the translation I once heard from Rabbi Chalkowski (Rn. Bambi's husband): diligence.

Seriously. Go watch some ants.

There is a YouTube video currently making the rounds to teach diligence to the chronically antless.
I'm not going to post it here, because it really is a waste of time -it's probably a better lesson in zerizus not to watch it; but should you ever be short of ants, you can look it up.
It consists of three minutes of a slinky walking a treadmill.

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