16 July 2007

HERALDING THE GEULAH from PEREK SHIRA

In memory of Aaroh HaKohein, whose yahrzeit is today, I offer the following:

THE BEE EATER - Rachama
is saying: "I will whistle to them and gather them, for I have redeemed them, and they shall
increase as they have before increased."
(Zecharia 10:8)

THE BEE EATER - Heralding Salvation

A MESSENGER OF MERCY
In the Torah's list of non-kosher birds, the names of the birds themselves may allude to
certain lessons.
[...]
Rabi Yehuda said: ...The racham is the sherakrak.
Rabbi Yochanan said: Why is it called the racham?
For when it comes, [it is a sign that] rachamim
(mercy) is coming to the world.
(Talmud, Chullin 63a)
[...]
Rav Bibi bar Abaye said: This is only provided it
is sitting on something and making a sherakrak
(whistling) sound. And we have a tradition that
if it sits on the ground and makes a sherakrak
sound, Mashiach will come, as it is written, "I
shall whistle (eshrakah) to them and gather them
in" (Zecharia 10:8).
(Talmud, Chullin 63a)

The bee-eaters pass over Israel and other
Mediteranean countries in autumn, immediately
preceding the winter rains. Thus, the Sages
observed (1) that the appearance of the whistling
bee-eater is a sign that the rains, the merciful
watering of the crops, are about to begin(2).
________________________
(1) Maharsha states that this statement of the Talmud is based on empirical observation.
(2) Kenaf Renanim


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