Mendy Kaminker

Act like an animal

Forget about what people say: start acting like an animal.

Wait, what? It sounds strange because, after all, we don’t like when other people act like animals. We use terms such as “animalistic” to describe a behavior that is not human and generally negative. And who wants to be around this type of behavior? Nobody.

Now, consider the flip side.

Animals are fearless. They never doubt their success. They don’t question their value. They are laser-focused on their goals and will put all their energy into achieving them.

Adopting some animalistic traits can be very good for us.

So I got some bad news and good news for you.

We all have an inner animal.

In the words of the Tanya, each person has a “Nefesh Haeolikit” (G-dly soul) and a “Nefesh HaBahamit” (animalistic soul).

The bad news is – and those people are right! – that if we let the animal run rampant, it can have dire consequences on our lives.

The good news is that when we utilize it properly, it can become a significant force to help us become better people and fulfill our purpose: to make the world a better place.

In this week’s Parsha, we are introduced to a verse with a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. It discussed bringing animals as an offering to G-d, and says, “When a man from you brings a sacrifice to the L-rd.”

The Chassidic sages have shed light on this verse, explaining that it not only refers to the physical aspect of bringing an offering but also entails offering our “animalistic soul” by harnessing its power.

Imagine taking the positive animalistic traits and use them for holy and good purposes: we’d be kind even when it doesn’t make sense, let go of our fears and insecurities and go full force ahead to accomplish good things around us – now the world will be in a much better place!

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of
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