Let me be as a bird . . .

This past week, our Shabbat Torah reading, which was the second portion of the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy), opened with one of the most poignant and moving statements ever made by the great leader Moshe Rabbenu (Moses). G-d has previously told Moshe that, despite Moshe’s great love for Eretz Israel, he will never enter the […]

The Three Weeks

As the nesting season draws to a close, and the migratory birds have returned to their summer homes, we see fewer and fewer of our ‘regulars’ like the Great Blue Herons and Wood Storks here in the preserves. Some of the juveniles and a few baby birds, like the Night Herons, Cattle Egrets, and Common Moorhens (Gallinules) still remain, […]

More Torah connections~

Birds are found everywhere in Torah!!  This past week’s Torah reading includes important references to birds, including the name of Zipporah (which means ‘bird‘, in Hebrew), who is the wife of the great leader Moshe (Moses).  There are numerous references to Zipporah’s swift actions, comparing her behavior to the swiftness of a little bird. This week marked […]

“Melody is the quill of the soul…”

The late Chabad Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson is quoted as saying, “Melody is the quill of the soul.  Words may be an expression of your heart, but a melody expresses the contents of your soul. . . . “ (Source:  Prisms, Uplifting Views on Daily Life, 2014).  We made a visit to the renowned world […]

Getting ready . . .

Today is Erev Rosh HaShanah, the eve of the Jewish New Year.  We’ve spent the past month turning our attention inward, toward the deepest part of our souls, in preparation for the Days of Awe that begin with Rosh HaShana.  This evening begins a season of holidays, remembrances, and reflection for Jewish people all over the world.   At […]

The Turtledove and the Columbarium

On a walk through the ruins of Ashkelon National Park this past spring, I was fortunate to spot this beautiful Turtledove below, foraging through the rocky landscape. It was very early May, and surely around the time of year about which King Solomon wrote in the Song of Songs: “12.The blossoms have appeared in the land, […]

The Soul Bird

Browsing the shelves of a book shop in Israel last summer, I came upon a little volume called צפור הנפש, written by Michal Snunit and illustrated by Na’ama Golomb. Published in Hebrew in 1985, it was later translated into over 20 languages, including in English (1999) as The Soul Bird. This children’s story/poem teaches that […]