Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ki Tavo (Haftara): "Like Doves"

"?מִי-אֵלֶּה, כָּעָב תְּעוּפֶינָה, וְכַיּוֹנִים אֶל-אֲרֻבֹּתֵיהֶם "
 "Who are these, who fly like a cloud, like doves to their nests?" (Isaiah 60:8)

The prophet described the incredible phenomenon of kibbutz galuyot, the return of the Jewish people to their homeland. This future vision appeared to Isaiah like clouds or doves flying overhead.

In what way is the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel similar to doves flying to their nests?

The Missing Chicken

A farmer once noticed that his prize hen - one of his most consistent egg-layers - was missing. When walking past his neighbor's property, he spotted the hen - tied to his neighbor's gate.

"Hey, that's my chicken!" he yelled.

His neighbor was not moved, "Maybe yes, maybe no. How do you know that this particular chicken is yours?"

The farmer said, "Here's proof that it's mine. Untie its legs, and you'll see that the hen will go straight for my chicken coop - to its real home!"

"Like Doves to their Nests"

Even though we are far away from God, dispersed around the world, this is only because we are chained in the exile, unable to return to the Land of Israel. And here is the proof: as soon as God will release us from the fetters of our exile, we will joyfully fly to our homeland, to the place where we originally lived, as soon as we can.

This is the meaning of Isaiah's prophecy. The prophet was amazed at this vision of the future redemption - Jewish souls freed from the shackles of Exile, instinctively returning home to the Land of Israel.

"Who are these, who fly like a cloud, like doves to their nests?"

(Adapted from Mishlei Ya'akov, p. 453)