Parsha Mitzvot: Ki Teitzei: Mitzvot 537 & 566 – Concepts 207 & 208
“Rabbi,” said the caller, “please let me know if you see a nest with a mother birds and her young birds or eggs. My wife wants more children and we were told by a Kabbalist to fulfill the Mitzvah of Sending The Mother Bird From The Nest.”
“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you on the road, on any tree or on the ground – young birds or eggs – and the mother is roosting on the young birds or the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. You shall surely send away the mother and take the young for yourself, so that it will be good for you and you will prolong your days.” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7) We may not take a mother bird from her children. (Concept #207) We must release the mother bird if she was taken from the nest. (#208)
These commandments are meant to inculcate compassion in people. We must accustom ourselves to act with mercy. (Ramban)
The person who called me in 1985, is copied every day by people searching for a magical potion. There are actually services that provide, for a fee, the opportunity to fulfill this Mitzvah.
I recently saw a Tweet of a video of a famous rabbi fulfilling this Mitzvah.
I wonder; Are we really fulfilling the commandment when we act only to earn special merit? Is that training us in compassion and mercy?
As far as I’m concerned, such agendas are for the birds!