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Late last night I came in to the museum to check on things. I went to look over the exhibit of the Shemonah Sheratzim - the small creatures listed in the Bible as transmitting ritual impurity when dead, with which there are various views as to their identities, and we maintain live exhibits of each of the possibilities. Much to my dismay, I saw that one of the enclosures was open and its occupant had escaped!
The absentee exhibit was a blind mole-rat, a truly extraordinary creature lacking eyes, which we had named Daredevil. I started looking around the museum, using the technique of thinking like the escaped animal, and of where it would want to go. As Isaiah 2:19-21 makes clear, mole-rats like to hide in confined places. So I started pulling things away from the wall, to see if Daredevil would be hiding behind them. And it wasn't that long until I found him!
Foolishly being unprepared, I didn't have anything to grab him with. It would not be a good idea to pick him up, seeing as he possesses immensely powerful teeth designed for chiselling through hard earth. There was a large plastic food-scooper next to me, so I quickly placed it on top of him. Unsurprisingly, he simply pushed it up and started to emerge from under it. I pushed the scooper back down, grabbed a nearby container of food, and put it on top of the scooper, to weigh it down while I went to find some way of getting him back to his enclosure. Hearing a noise behind me, I turned to see that Daredevil, possessing a strength that I did not him to possess, had arched his back and knocked off the food container.
Again I put the scoop over him, and held it down while I looked around frantically for something within arm's reach. I need something flat to slide under the scoop, so that I could pick it up and securely transport him. The only thing nearby was a slim sefer, a book of Torah scholarship, that I had left lying around. It was the perfect size, shape and firmness to slide under the scoop. But it would be sacrilegious to use a sefer to capture a sheretz! How could I use a holy book to catch the epitome of ritual impurity?!
Then I realized what the sefer was.
"Shemonah Sheratzim - A Study of the Identities of the Eight Creeping Creatures," by Zohar Amar!
It would be an honor for that work, for it to be used not only for the research and development of the contents of the exhibit, but even for the physical re-acquisition of one of the creatures themselves!
Daredevil is now securely back in his enclosure.