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Shemini

Thursday, 12th April 2018

One of the unkosher birds listed in this week’s Torah portion (11:19) is the "Chasida - the stork". 
 
Rashi says that it is called Chasida from the word "Chosid - pious". Rashi explains, the reason for this is that the stork does Chessed (righteous deeds) with its friends and it shares its food source rather than hoard it for itself. 
 
When it comes to the mouse however, the Jerusalem Talmud (Bava Metzia 3:5) describes it as a “Rasha - wicked” because it not only eats the homeowner’s food it also calls its friends to eat. 
 
Why the unbalanced treatment between the two of these generous creatures? 
 
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky answers that the Chasida’s food comes from Hefker (un-owned) property, it is not taking from anyone else. However, the mouse steals his food from people’s homes. 
 
Rabbi Kanievsky says that from here we learn an important lesson. If you do Chesed on someone else’s expense you aren’t a chossid of a man, you are a wicked mouse.
 

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