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Ki Seitzei

Thursday, 23rd August 2018

 

 Parshas Ki Seitzei introduces us to the heart-warming but puzzling mitzvah of sending away the mother bird: “When a bird’s nest happens to be before you on the road…You shall surely send away the mother and take the young for yourself, so that it will be good for you and will prolong your days.” (22:6-7).

 

By sending away the mother bird before removing the baby birds, the Torah is teaching us to be compassionate. The reward for this, the pasuk (verse) tells us, is long life. Interestingly, the Torah tells us that this is also the reward for honouring your parents. What is the connection between these two mitzvos (commandments) that the pasuk specifically mentions that a person receives the same reward for each of them?

Rashi here gives an answer: “If for an easy mitzvah which is not expensive, the Torah said ‘It will be good for you and will prolong your days’, all the more so is the reward for a hard mitzvah”.

 

The Kli Yakar wants to connect the two mitzvos intrinsically. The pasuk says that doing the mitzvah of Honouring Your Parents will be good for you. What exactly is the good that you get besides for the reward of long life? He explains, how do children learn to respect their parents? From seeing their parents respecting their own parents. So we see that the good that will come from you honouring your parents is that in turn your kids will honour you. The pasuk here by sending away the mother bird, gives parents another opportunity to teach their kids to respect them. When the kids see how their parents respect and are sensitive to the needs of animal parents, they will learn to be respectful of their own parents, causing good to come to you as a result of this mitzvah!

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