Saturday, August 27, 2022

What the "Raah" Bird Teaches Us


In this week's parsha, Parshas Re'ea, the Torah itemizes and names the non-kosher birds!

כל צפור טהרה תאכלו, וזה אשר לא תאכלו מהם, הנשר והפרס ןהעזניה, והראה ואת האיה והדיה למינה

"You may eat every kosher bird. The birds that you may not eat, are the eagle, the ossifrage, the osprey, the white vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the entire raven family."

Rashi points out that the ראה, איה and the דיה are all from the raven family. 

Rashi asks why is the white vulture called ראה? He answers that this bird can see very far.

The gemarra in Mesachtas Chulin (63b) goes a step further and states:

עומדת בבבל ורואה נבלה בארץ ישראל

"While standing in Bavel it can see a carcass in Eretz Yisrael"

Question: If Hashem gave this bird such a gift to be able to see so far, why didn't Hashem make this bird kosher? Why is it a non-kosher bird?

The Baal Shem Tov ז"ל  answers that any creature that resides in Chutz Le'aaretz and sees a "carcass" in the Holy Land cannot possibly be kosher. 

The Elul lesson for "Chutz Le'arretz'nics" is, that if you focus and see bad things in Eretz Yisrael, search your soul; know that it is not coming from a good place. 

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