Emor:Mommy-Newborn and Lessons in Compassion

The Shikkerdovid has gotten been reading the old school “Hertz Chumash”. It was the staple synagogue chumash in pre Artscroll days.  Hertz was not only a major Torah scholar but a gentlement, educated and writes beautifully. His commentary is sparkling and beautiful.  (Like everyone else in teh ’70’s the SD got the Hertz as a bm present from his shul with his name embossed in gold- I wisth they had  used “Shikkerdovid” )

In Chapter 22, pasuk 27-28 the Torah tells us that bull, sheep or goat when it gives birth the baby stays with the mommy for seven days.  Then it says, you cannot slaughter “it” and the baby on the same day.  Hertz says the following: that the animal experieinces pain just as a human as animals have feelings  just as humans. He then elegantly does a scholarly move: “cf the same prohibition of the motherbird being taken with her young. ”  Once we take the eggs, we can wait for the mommy to come back and then eat it.

The Isbitzer Rebbe says that this mitzvah is given to teach Israel the way of kindness. Howevever he continues  in the Talmud Megila it says that if a man while praying states “just as you were merciful” we stop him because we are forbidden to ascribing of man’s limited understanding ”

What does this all mean?  Really it is asking how do we understand kindness and the applicatin of kindness in the world.   We learn about sensitivity to certain animals like cows and goats but the bird, not so much?  Is shewing the mother away enough chesed?

The SD would like to chime in.  There is really no end to chesed as long as it within the Torah’s mandate. For example, giveing charity. We can only give so much.   The Torah dictates our chesed, our morality, our world view of right and wrong.   The Torah is teaching us senstivity to animals and by extension hopefully greater sensitivity to people. But it is all within the framework of the Torah system.

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