Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother Bird !

Why is there a commandment in the Torah to send away a mother bird before taking her fledglings or eggs?

These are my understandings: 

(A) On the basic level, it's an act of compassion for the mother bird not to expose her to the sight of her fledglings or eggs being taken. We live in a world where people still eat meat (whether we should or not at this particular stage in history is questionable). Regardless of the amazing spiritual elevations created through eating meat, there's still something tragic about ruining the life of a creature to do it. Therefore, when we do it in the most compassionate possible way, as in Judaism's method of ritual slaughter or sending a mother bird away from her nest, we are demonstrating our reluctance to participate of an act that pains another creature and our hopes that ultimately we won't have to seek our nutrition through means that require resorting to such an act. 

(B) I have heard quoted from the Zohar that as compassionate as the act is to spare the mother bird from the sight of her offspring being taken, she still cries bitterly over the separation from them. Her cries ascend to heaven and the Creator is reminded about His own separation from His first born children scattered like dust throughout the Diaspora. This arouses His compassion to work on gathering the Jewish People and bring them home - to the Holy Land. 

Let's hope that this happens very very soon! 

Shavuah Tov :)

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