Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Dove's Message

Art: Charnine
"The dove came to him toward evening, and behold it had plucked an olive leaf with its beak"[Noach 8:11]

Rashi, quoting a Midrash, recounts that the dove said to Noach: "Let my food be as bitter as an olive - as long as it is provided by the hand of HaKadosh Baruch Hu - and not as sweet as honey - if it will be provided by the hand of flesh and blood."

Why, asked the Dubno Maggid, would the dove make such a statement to Noach before taking leave of him and the ark?  Hadn't Noach so graciously provided for it and cared for all of its needs over the course of an entire year?

Rather, answered the Maggid, the dove was concerned that perhaps Noach would suspect that it had returned not because the flood had ended but because it knew that it would receive all of its food on the ark.  This is why the dove told Noach, "I have not returned for food. For I prefer to be sustained with food that is as bitter as olives, as long as it is provided by Hashem, rather than with food that is as sweet as honey but provided by man!"

Source: Rabbi Y. Bronstein

2 comments:

  1. Shalom Devorah.....here is another analogy.

    The dove's journey is recorded in the Torah as a prophecy for the future.

    K'lal Yisrael is likened to a dove whilst the nations are compared to water.

    Just as the dove found no resting place in the midst of the water, so too K'lal Yisrael find no resting place in exile. Just as the dove returned home to the ark, so will B'nei Yisrael return to their land in the future.

    Eventually the bitterness of galut will be replaced by the sweetness of geulah.Baruch HaShem !

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  2. Devorah - those two doves are stunning in that picture.
    It reminds me of my very first visit to Israel when unexpectedly we had been wisked off by our friend to the Kotel for Mincha, afternoon prayers.
    As I gazed at those ancient stones before me I noticed something that brought peace and joy to my heart.
    There, in one of the recessed stones of the Kotel, sat TWO WHITE DOVES who were facing each other... and I 'KNEW' that it was an 'eis ratzon' a 'time of grace' when Hashem would answer our prayers - for to me those two doves seemed to symbolize the Holy Keruvim (Cherubs upon the Alter in the Holy of Holies in the Beit Hamikdash, The Holy Temple. And our Sages teach us that it is a 'good omen' for the Jewish People when the Keruvim were facing each other...

    To Joe: Tears sprang to my eyes as I read your lovely comment...

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