May 29, 2024
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May 29, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

There are things that happen in life that take maybe a few minutes of time and yet leave an impression for a lifetime. A wonderful thing such as that happened to me one morning after I drove my wife to the train station for her commute to Manhattan.

Let me back up a little. When I first came outside that morning I noticed a flock of crows circling and shrieking that sound that crows make when they’re actively threatening prey that they’ve been stalking. They try to get into bird nests or scare baby rabbits out of their nesting holes and then have a family feast on the tender young.

When I came back from the station, I got out of my car in our driveway, and as I started walking to the house a beautiful robin redbreast came down from our large spruce pine tree and landed on a very low branch facing me. She started tweeting, tweeting, tweeting, a hastily and seemingly desperate pleading sound–like she was asking for my help. Somehow I instinctively knew what she wanted because of the way she was moving her head and looking directly at me. I turned and looked up and there perched high in my neighbor’s tree was that flock of large crows.

I clapped my hands together really hard making a loud sound like a gun-shot in the quiet of the morning, and the entire flock flew off in unison. The robin did not budge when I clapped my hands, but just stood still, calmly looking at me, and after a while flew back up the spruce to where her nest was and settled down with her young. I whistled a kind of warbling bird whistle to her, just before I went back into the house.

I couldn’t help feeling worthy of being chosen by her to help her, even though there was no one else around, and even though she did it in desperation…but still, she somehow knew that she could trust me to help.

The Torah teaches us, especially for young children, that being kind to harmless animals is a mitzvah, and that staying neutral when animals are in need is a sin.

By David S. Weinstein

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