Kindred Kindness


One of the twenty-one species of non-kosher birds listed in the 14th chapter of Deuteronomy is the chassidah (stork). The word chassidah is the feminine form of chassid, which means “benevolent one.” The chassidah is so named, say our sages, because “she does kindness with her compatriots.”[9]

So why is the chassidah an impure bird? “Because she does kindness with her compatriots,” explained Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. “One must be kind to all G-d’s creatures, not only to ‘one’s own.’ ”

Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber

[9]. Talmud, Chulin 63a.


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