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On Friday, after the hyena encounter, I went to meet some elephants. As with the hyena, the goal was to film a clip for my documentary. In this case, I would be speaking about the wonder of elephants, and the blessing that is pronounced on them - Baruch meshaneh habriyos.
Now, I've seen elephants plenty of times before. I've fed them, hugged them, and ridden on them. So I was expecting that I would have to artificially put on an expression of wonder.
But that wasn't necessary. Having an African elephant right next to me, towering above me, was such an awe-inspiring experience that I burst into the berachah spontaneously, with immense emotion. Pictures absolutely do not do this justice, but here are some anyway:
NOTE: This was, of course, a trained elephant. One would never, ever, ever do this with a wild elephant, such as those that I hope to see tomorrow! (Even what I did had its dangers; the trainers were constantly assessing the elephants' mood and instructing me accordingly - where to stand, when to move, etc.)
(Additional note to those emailing me - please be aware that while I am traveling, it is very hard for me to keep up with emails.)