Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Skunks on Noah's Ark Prove God Exists

After my previous episode of extraordinary hashgacha pratis revolving around my Noah's Ark tie, I then had an even more miraculous occurrence!

Among the numerous WhatsApp groups for the various combinations of staff at the Biblical Museum of Natural History is one called "Museum Chat." This is the one for anything that is not work related, where anyone can post whatever they want. The other day, one of our guides shared the following cartoon:


Okay, it's only mildly amusing. But here is the amazing thing. I had just purchased a model Noah's Ark for our forthcoming exhibit at the museum (which had not yet arrived, and which the staff didn't know about), and it was this:

Do you see what's on the left side of the model?! Unbelievable! Can this be a coincidence? I don't think so!

The crazy thing is that when I decided to buy this Ark (out of the many hundreds of different types available on Ebay), it never occurred to me that the skunks were in a separate boat for that reason! I chose this Ark because there is something about it that sheds light, in a fascinating way, on which country it was made in, with ramifications for the topic of Biblical natural history. See if you can guess what that is! It's very difficult, but there is a clue in this post.

Logistics Request: If you are able to help with driving a Noah's Ark from Manhattan to West Hempstead, or bringing some models to Israel from Toronto, San Franciso or Atlanta, please be in touch!

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20 comments:

  1. Disney also quarantined the skunks back in 1932:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0GhpXHMsuo
    Skip to 4:15.

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    1. I see they recycled some of the jokes almost seventy years later:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXTdueNgdVk

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  2. Why did you think they were in a separate boat when you saw it?

    The doves (plural!) are sitting in date trees, not olive trees, possibly because wherever it was made they've never seen olive trees. Otherwise, I have no idea what you're hinting at.

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  3. My guess is China because 1) the pandas are front and centre 2) Noah looks like a Chinese sage and 3) China manufactures more items than anyone else.

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  4. "Okay, it's only mildly amusing."

    What!? It's absolutely hilarious!

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  5. After the flood the skunks head to the western hemisphere in a separate boat, leaving no skunks for the eastern hemisphere?

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  6. Those are clearly alligators, not crocodiles. It was made in the USA.

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  7. Just curious, do you believe in hashgacha pratit? (I ask because the Rambam severely limited it)

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    1. I recall that Natan wrote once that he does, because of his personal experience thereof. I guess he is not really a Chussid of the Rambam....

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    2. I'm trying to dig into hashgacha pratis and see what reasons/sources there are backing different views. In the Rambam's Moreh Nevuchim, it seems like he leaves a huge gray area in between obvious navi'im/tzadikim and brutes. Do you know of a place where he goes into more detail?

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    3. Stephan, there are lots of sources, but an underrated "source" is simply learning lots of Tanach, it's full of the spirit of hasgacha pratis. In general, you will be hard pressed to find black-and-white rules, we cannot understand the ways of Hashem. I'm not sure if you will find the silly type of "hasgacha pratis" like the one in this post. Unless you are using the definition that anything that ever happens is "hasgacha pratis".

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  8. RNS’s post is Hilarious on two counts. Anyway, I would guess China. Peking Duck and not ravens. Pandas and a Confucian Noach. ACJA

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  9. Rabbi for the RabbilessJanuary 12, 2022 at 10:46 AM

    Dinosaurs on the Ark! My guess would be Christian country in the US of A.

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  10. Hard to guess where it comes from... Most animals can be explained by general "Biblical Middle Eastern" types that people think of, except for the skunks, pandas, gorillas, walruses, kangaroos/wallabies, and the pink bird that I can't identify. The skunks are a joke, so this was probably made duing the Information Age. Pandas, gorillas, and kangaroos are common exotic animals that people think of. That just leaves walruses, weird pink bird, and Confucious Noah. So I would guess a Northern coastal (walrus) Asian country (Confucious) with a Western-influenced Internet culture (skunk joke), so S Korea or Japan. I think that's missing the clue about how this sheds light on Biblical natural history though, so it's probably wrong.

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  11. This is a tease. What's the answer please?

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  12. I mean, wasn't this just a cartoon poking fun that nobody would want the skunks to be on the boat and they were towed behind to keep the smell off the boat? Sounds like something a children's book would do to make it fun for kids. I have seen the kid's book because we have it in our doctor's office. ~John Clark clarktaiteye.com

    ReplyDelete

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