Tuesday, April 05, 2016

the chassidah that does not know how to do chessed

One of the non-kosher birds mentioned in the parsha is the “chassidah.” (11:19)  Rashi explains that it is called chassidah because it does chessed with its friends and brings them food.  Why should such a nice bird be not-kosher?  The Chiddushei haRI”M famously explains that it does chessed only with its friends, but not those who are not friends.  Others explain that it gets the food it distributes by taking from other birds.  It’s great to do chessed by giving your own things away, but not so great when you seize others' property to give away (I will refrain from making a political comment here).  Daughter #3, who asked me to mention that she is only 14 and has red hair [I am not sure what the latter detail has to do with anything], thought of her own answer that I said I would quote in her name.  Chessed is wonderful, but a person also needs to care of him/herself.  The flaw of the chassidah is that it gives away all its food away to friends at the expense of its own nest.  That is not a proper exercise of charity. 

(This week I did a few shorter posts instead of lumping them together.  Not sure which way works better.)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I usually avoid deleting comments, but I could not less this one stay up because I thought the last part was in very poor taste in the way it referred to chasidim. Apologies.

  2. The days of denigrating chasidim as a whole are long gone. The lomdus of Gerers and the Sochatshovers, the kiruv and chesed of Lubavitch, the fact that half of the talmidim in the great yeshivos are chasidim, at this point, wholesale hisnagdus as a shittah is either childish or pathetic.