Rabbi Nicole Roberts Sermon for Pesach 5774
4 April 2014
One of my all-time favorite things to do is sit on my balcony on a sunny, breezy summer day and read a good book. It rarely happens, but when it does… it’s my idea of paradise. Well, one Shabbat, while David was away, there was trouble in paradise. I came out, book in hand, ready to settle down, when right next to my chair I spotted a giant bumble bee, in agony. It had somehow knocked into something, stunned itself, fallen on its back, and landed by my chair, where it was fluttering around desperately—confused and buzzing.
The noise and the sudden sight of it startled me, activating a very primal fear. I froze. I realized that the bee simply needed to be flipped over, right side up, so that it could regain its senses and resume its normal affairs, but who knows what its trajectory might be upon taking flight. Bees don’t have a good track record with humans. They sting people. I didn’t want to get stung, and if I risked saving this bee, then not only might I get stung, but so might others—you know… at some point. It’s just too dangerous, I concluded. So, I’m ashamed to admit, I took my book, went back inside, and shut the door. I missed out on paradise that day, and callously passed up the sacred act of saving a life.