Do Our Part

“He was like an eagle arousing its nest, hovering over its young, spreading its wings and taking them, carrying them on its pinions” (Devarim 32:11)

On the last day of his life, Moshe Rabbeinu gave a “song’’ to the people of Israel — a poem describing the blessings they would reap as reward for their good deeds and the tragedies that would befall them throughout their history should they violate Hashem’s commandments.

One of the images Moshe used to describe G-d’s relationship to His children is that of an eagle and its young. The eagle is a very large, powerful bird that could harm or frighten its young should it approach its nest suddenly and land directly onto its chicks. In her kindness and mercy, the mother eagle approaches her young, who await her return to the nest, gradually, rather than suddenly. She rustles bushes and breaks branches on neighboring trees in order to warn the young so that they may prepare for her arrival. The mother then hovers above her chicks so as to avoid putting her full weight on them. Other birds that carry their young use their claws to lift the chicks and to carry them beneath the wings in fear of birds of prey that may attack from above. The eagle, in contrast, transports its young on top of its wings. Since she flies higher than all other birds, she is not fearful of other high-flying predators. She puts her young on top of her wings so that if a human hunter should shoot from the ground, the mother’s body will protect her babies. The question really is: If the mother is hovering above the nest and she does not pick them up with her claws then how do the young get on top of the wings?

The answer is that they jump on top as she hovers in range of the nest.

The imagery is simple. G-d is the eagle and we are the mother bird’s chicks. G-d does not reveal Himself suddenly to His people. Instead, He makes noises as He approaches to prepare us for His revelation.

The events of recent months indicate that G-d is approaching to carry us to our homeland on His wings. Moshiach is very near. The Mishnah at the end of Masechet Sotah lists many of the conditions that will prevail in the days immediately preceding the arrival of Moshiach. Inflation of prices, brazen behavior and disrespect, belittlement of important moral values, as well as leaders who look to the masses for opinions rather than lead from the top based on principle, are just a few of the many conditions listed that we see clearly in the world we live in today. Our Torah leaders are saying the time has come.

The main thing we must keep in mind is that we must contribute to our own salvation. As He hovers close by, He expects us to “jump on” his wings. That means we must do good deeds, study Torah, unify ourselves and pray for the redemption — we must do our part. Should we behave like the chicks that jump on their mother’s wings, then we will all see the Redemption with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

Shabbat shalom