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April 04, 1986 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8 Friday, April 4, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

TORAH PORTION'

Kind, Forbidden Stork
Has A Modern Image

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The stork has a unique and
special place in American
folklore. It has been designated,
for some reason, as the bird that
brings babies. In our Jewish
tradition the stork also has a
special place. In this week's
Torah portion we find a detailed
and comprehensive list of per-
mitted and forbidden foods. The
stork is listed as a bird we are
not allowed to eat. Why was it
forbidden?
The Talmud provides an in-
teresting homiletic explanation.
The Hebrew word for stork is
hasidah. The name is derived
from the word hesed which
means loving-kindness. Why is
it called hasidah? Sheosah
hasidut im hauroteha — because
it shows kindness to its own
kind, by sharing food with other
storks (Hulin 63a).
What co'uld be a nicer, a more
noble name for a bird? If it is so
kind and caring, why is it in-
cluded on the list of forbidden
fowl? If its personality is so
kosher, why is it so treifl The,
great Chassidic master, Rabbi
Menahem Mendel of Kotzk, an-
swers that it is because the
hasidah shows kindness only to
its own kind. It shares its food
only with its close companions.
It is concerned only with the
needs of its own immediate
group.
If so, then the stork's sin is
one that we can identify with,
one that we all commit. For we
all find it much easier to reach
out to those whom we know
than to strangers. We risk more
when we know a person less. It
is safer to keep on driving when
we see a person whose car is
disabled, or to turn the other
way when an altercation is
going on, and to mind our own
business when a stranger needs
our help.
But that way is no way. That
way leads to our becoming a
society of strangers. If we do not
care about each other, and if we
do not share with one another,
we cannot have a human
society. "If I am only for my-
self," asks Hillel, "what am I?"
When we withdraw into our own
parochial concerns, when We
turn our backs on our neighbors,
we forfeit our very humanity.
If there is an "original sin" in
Jewish "thought it is the iielf-
centeredness in which a child is
born. His world consists of his
self, and those around him are
seen as providers who are there
to meet his needs. Then
gradually, as he matures, he
comes to recognize a responsibil-
ity first to his family, then to
his kin, then to his community,
then to his people, and ulti-
mately, if he truly matures,' to
all the human race. '
The hasidah is a case of ar-
rested development. Its ability
•to feel and care is limited only
to those that are of its own kind
and for this shortcoming the



tItt....", ` •• ■ •^ -•""

Torah lists it among the forbid-
den birds which we are not
allowed to eat.
Let the lesson for us be to
reach out and touch someone —
a slogan much, too sublime to
left to a telephone commercial.
Let the lesson be to extend the
parameters of our hesed and

Shabbat Hacodesh:
Leviticus 9:1-11:47;
Exodus 12:1-20.
Ezekiel 45:16-46:18.

concern beyond our own kind,
beyond our own immediate cir-
cle of family and close friends.
To justify our existence we
must extend our deeds of
loving-kindness to all people.
And then, if someone asks us
where we learned to live in this
spirt and with this understand-
ing, we can reply that "the stork
brought it." And this time we
will be telling the truth!

Arab Family
Arrested In
Kidnapping

Jerusalem (JTA) Six mem-
bers of an Arab family, in-
cluding a mother of five child-
ren, were arrested in connection
with the kidnap slaying of an
Israeli soldier, Sgt. David
Manos, whose remains were
found in a cave in the West
Bank on March 14, police
sources disclosed last week.
They identified the suspects
as Lamle Abdallah and her hus-
band, Tawfik from Deir Baloot
village in the Samaria district of
the West Bank; Tahseen and
Najan Abdallah, a related cou-
ple, Mustapha Abdallah, a con-
struction worker, and Moham-
mad Abdallah,
„ a teacher.
According to the police, the
suspects are not affiliated with
any known ; terrorist organiza-
tion but apparently decided to
kidnap an Israeli soldier at
random. Manos became their
victim. He was last seen alive
hitchhiking from Haifa to his
home in Petach Tikva. He
became the object of a coun-
trywide search with lasted for
months.
Meanwhile, hundreds of
security personnel are searching
the area betiken Shefaram and
Nazareth fOrti0e-Arabs who at-
tempted to murder a hitchiking
Israeli soldier recently. The vic-
tim, Yosef Levy, : a 46 year-old
reservist whe -,:is 'Secretary of
. Kibbutz UshikAe0 Haifa, was
picked up by tvq men near the
Arab village; Of, Manda.
Once in their,, car, he was
stabbed in the.chest. He strug-
gled with his assailants, the car
was forcedoff the road and the
is spiritual leader of
.Contli 13:ffi David in Southfield.
two Arabs escaped.

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