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INSIGHT: The Great Kan-troversy

Bye Bye Birdie

Bye Bye Birdie

So far, we covered a lot of Mitzvos – what a variety! Here’s another one and it’s called Shiluach HaKein (also pronounced Shiluach HaKan), “sending [a mother bird away] from her nest.” Our Sages call this Mitzvah a very easy Mitzvah. (Unless you aren’t good at climbing trees).

Here’s what it’s all about:

A mother bird is sitting on her nest, caring for her eggs or her little birds. Think of how sad she would be if someone came along and took one of her eggs or her babies right out from under her beak!

So, if someone wakes up one day and takes his morning walk and looks up and notices a mother bird on her nest.

“I think I’ll climb up there and take the baby bird. But first, the Torah says I must shoo away the mother and that’s exactly what I will do.”

Uh… with or without shoes?

Then it’s time for him to climb up the tree and send away the mother bird. Once he is sure the mother-bird is long gone, only then is he allowed to take the baby bird. That’s it! An easy Mitzvah and one with a big reward!

In the words of Moshe Rabbeinu, “If the mother bird is sitting upon her young birds or eggs, send away the mother, and only then may you take the young for yourself, in order that it should be good for you, and you should live a very long life.”

Shazak insight

The Great Kan-troversy

Listen to people discussing this Parsha. Some will call this Mitzvah “Shiluach HaKan,” and others will call it “Shiliach HaKen.” Which one is right… Kan or Kein?

In our Parsha, it is called Kan Tzipor, “nest of a bird,” so wouldn’t you think it would be “Shiluach HaKan?” WRONG!

Let’s get grammatical. We find in Tehillim (84:4) Kein meaning “nest,” but Kan Tsipur in our Pasuk means “nest of a bird.” See the difference? Kan means “nest of” and Kein means “nest.”

That’s why it would be correct to pronounce it Shiluach HaKein, translated “sending away [from] the nest,” not “sending away [from] the nest of.”

Get it? Kein (yes) or no?

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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