Study and Test the Entire Bible in a Year, Every Year
– Week 49 –
One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.
This week’s Bible Study is called “When you go out”, or in Hebrew Ki Tetze | כי תצא.
The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.
You shall not hesitate to give, nor murmur when you do give; because you shall know who is the good repayer of the hire. You shall not turn away from him that is in want, but you shall share all things with your brother, and shall not say that they are your own; for if you are partakers in that which is immortal, how much more in things which are mortal? Didache 4:7-8
. . . . Continue the Scripture study below.
You will also find study guides by chapter and advanced study of the original languages [including from ancient Jewish and Christian writings] following the Bible study outlines and Biblical texts. While it is our belief that many of the letters of the New Testament were originally written in Aramaic and/ or Hebrew, the Greek texts are used for study even when there are known Hebrew manuscripts (eg. Mathew and Hebrews).
This Week’s Bible Audio, Outlines & Study Guides
When You Go Out
- English Text/ Audio: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
- Hebrew Interlinear and audio
- Deuteronomy 21:10 | Female Captives
- Deuteronomy 21:15 | The Right of the Firstborn
- Deuteronomy 21:18 | Rebellious Children
- Deuteronomy 21:22 | Miscellaneous Laws
- Deuteronomy 22:13 | Laws concerning Sexual Relations
- Deuteronomy 23:1 | Those Excluded from the Assembly
- Deuteronomy 23:9 | Sanitary, Ritual, and Humanitarian Precepts
- Deuteronomy 24:1 | Laws concerning Marriage and Divorce
- Deuteronomy 24:5 | Miscellaneous Laws
- Deuteronomy 25:5 | Levirate Marriage
- Deuteronomy 25:11 | Various Commands
Prophets & Writings
Your Husband is Your Maker
- English Text/ Audio: Isaiah 54:1-10
- Hebrew Interlinear and Audio
- Isaiah 54:1 | Our Husband is Our Maker
- English Text/ Audio: 1 Samual 16
- Hebrew Interlinear and Audio
- 1Sa 16:1 | Saul is rejected and Samuel is sent to the new king over Israel
Gospels & Letters
Brought Before Pilate
- English Text/ Audio: Luke 23
- Greek Interlinear and Audio
- Luke 23 | Jesus/ Yeshua Delivered to Pilate
- Hebrews 1 | Jesus/ Yeshua as Creator
- James (Jacob) 5 | The example of the prophets
This Week’s Bible Study Commentary
Love and War
A soldier in a heathen army would have no compunction over taking, raping, and disposing of a captive woman. Not so in the army of the LORD.
A popular English maxim states, “All’s fair in love and war.” The implication is that rules of proper conduct can be suspended when fighting on the field of battle and when playing on the field of romance. The Bible disagrees.
When you go out to battle against your enemies, and YHVH your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself … (Deuteronomy 21:10-11)
According to the Bible, not everything is fair in love or war. Last week’s study spelled out certain laws of conduct for warfare. This week’s study introduces the prospect of romance on the battlefield.
The Bible acknowledges that the soldiers of a conquering army are likely to be tempted to take captive women, but it forbids acting on the impulse. Instead, the Bible demands that a captive woman be granted dignity and honor. She is to be allowed to mourn her parents. She is to be given the honor of marriage. She is not to be taken forcibly; she is to be married and given the status of a wife. She cannot be treated as a slave, nor can she be sold.
Before the conquering soldier can consummate his desire and marry the woman, he has to allow her to mourn the loss of her family for a full month. During this period of time, she is to shave the hair of her head and (according to Rashi’s reading of the Hebrew) let her fingernails grow.
Shaving the head and letting the nails grow long are apparently mourning rituals of the time. However, Rashi suggests another reason for her hairless, unkempt appearance. He states that the Torah’s laws are attempting to dissuade the man from marrying the captive woman by making her appear repulsive to him. The month of mourning is like a thirty-day waiting period during which the man has time to reconsider his intentions. Does he really want to marry the weeping bald woman with the long fingernails? If at the end of the thirty days the man has decided he is not pleased with her and does not want to marry the woman after all, he is to let her go free.
The Torah’s wisdom in this matter teaches us several principles that apply to every romantic relationship. A person should never rush into marriage. Love at first sight is not real love. Before committing to marriage, a person needs to take time to see past the other person’s sexual allure and fog of lust.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30).
These laws teach us to curb our natural desires and remember that the person we are so attracted to is, after all, another human being, not a sex object. Furthermore, the laws pertaining to the captured woman teach us that sex before marriage is never sanctioned. Even the battlefield soldier had to delay gratification thirty days and wait until the wedding document was signed.
This week’s Bible study has more discussion on instructions than any other of the Bible-in-a-year studies. It also includes instructions on sustainable living and treating animals well. It is one of those difficult studies that talks about going out to war. It discusses stoning the rebellious son, corporal punishment, other people’s property, cross-dressing, planting and plowing crops, tassels (tzitiot), virginity, marriage, divorce and adultery, rape, murder, eunuchs, charity, idolatry, loving neighbors, nocturnal emission, human waste and nakedness, slavery, prostitution, vows, loans and interest, theft, disease, poverty, oppression, justice, orphans and widows, legal disputes, punitive damages, family lineage, fair business practice and more all in just the first part of the study!
Any one of these topics could be a complete study in and of themselves, but it is sufficient to show that the Creator of the universe has instructions for those who would be in His kingdom.
When Jesus | Yeshua | ישוע came with the gospel of the kingdom he said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” (Jn 7:16)
Mt 5:17+ ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The Least of the Commandments
Some commandments of the Hebrew Bible are weightier than others, but Jesus/ Yeshua teaches that a person should be scrupulous to observe even the least of the commandments. FACT.
“Don’t make mountains out of molehills” means don’t turn a trivial matter into a large concern. Jesus/ Yeshua seems to espouse a similar sentiment when He chastises the religious for scrupulously observing the small details of God’s Law while ignoring the “weightier provisions of the Torah” (Matthew 23:23).
Nevertheless, Yeshua taught His disciples to keep even the smallest of the commandments. He said,
“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).
Have you ever wondered what the “least of these commandments” is? According to the sages, one of the least of the commandments is Deuteronomy 22:6-7’s admonition to drive away a wild bird from her nest before taking her young:
If you happen to come upon a bird’s nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7)
The sages point out that, although the commandment of driving away the mother bird is the least of the commandments, it carries the same reward as the weighty commandment of honoring one’s father and mother:
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)
In his famous work The Guide to the Perplexed, Maimonides (Rambam) explains that the commandment to drive the wild mother bird away before taking the young from the nest is an act of mercy. It would pain the mother bird to see her offspring taken. By driving her away before taking her young, we reduce her suffering. If God so cares for the emotional pain of a simple bird, how much more so should we show compassion to all of his creatures, especially our fellow man.
If Maimonides is correct, the law of driving away the wild bird is a commandment to show mercy and kindness to all God’s creatures, to exercise compassion and empathy and to do our best to alleviate the suffering and emotional pain of others.
In that case, it’s not a small commandment at all. Instead, it belongs to a category of laws that Yeshua called the “weightier provisions of the Torah” (Matthew 23:23).
This Week’s Hidden Aleph-Tav’s
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are hidden aleph-tav’s [את] that aren’t usually translated into English. But they are very enlightening when we read them in the Hebrew, especially because Jesus/ Yeshua said He WAS the aleph-tav. The את identifies covenant peoples, persons, places, things and titles pertaining to the ownership of property by יהוה Father through את Yeshua our Messiah. As you move through the Laws of Liberty (Torah) notice where the את is placed and where it is not placed. Paul declares in Romans 7:12 the TORAH (nomos) is Holy and the Commandments are Holy (Set apart), Righteous (Just) and Good (of Benefit). Following are the aleph-tav’s [את] we find in this week’s study:
Deut 21:16 begins to talk about the commandment concerning the first-borns inheritance. As we know Yeshua was the first born and He redeemed the first born in Egypt by His blood but I find it very interesting that the verse describes his first born sons from two different wives as, (את his sons את)…with an את on each side as a marker of both being covenant children to him but the command is he will not play favorites because he may love one wife more than the other, but must deal truthfully and give the double portion only to the one born first to him, even if he does not love the first wife. The double את could imply the seriousness of the commandment and could also represent both Messiah and the first born son. It could also be doubled because the inheritance was to be a double portion.
For Deeper Language & Learning
In this section, we appeal to all believers to dig DEEP into the Bible, as well as the commentaries of the “Jewish sages” and “church fathers”. We point out Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts of Scripture including what has been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. We search through many historical writings and even compare other religions to the Bible in an appeal for unity in Truth and exposing the error in all religions. We have hundreds of resources in our free app so that people can see for themselves what these ancients texts say rather than depending on a preacher.
(Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19) contains what is said to be the least important mitzvah, or commandment, in the entire Torah,
“If a bird’s nest (קַן־צִפֹּור) chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young: you shall surely let the mother go, but the young you may take to yourself, that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days.” Deuteronomy 22:6-7
The Midrash Tanchuma states,
“There is no easier mitzvah [to perform] than sending away the mother bird from the nest. And what is its reward? ‘So that you will benefit and you will live long.” Midrash Tanchuma, Ki Teitze, Rosenwald Edition, translated by Avrohom Davis, Volume 8, Eastern Book Press, pg. 218
This is one of the few mitzvot whose reward is specified, which is the equivalent reward of honoring one’s parents. Pirkei Avot says,
“Be careful with a light mitzvah as to a grave one, as you do not know the assigned reward of the mitzvot.” Pirkei Avot 2:1
Yeshua emphasizes that all the commandments in the Torah are critically important, even the ‘lesser’ ones,
“Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:19
The Maharal, R’ Yehudah Lowe ben Bezalel of Prague (1512-1609CE), comments,
“When the mother bird is sent away, the settlement of the world is preserved, for the nest is not destroyed and the mother can start over. By contributing to the eternity of existence, an individual cleaves to the good, which is long life [in the World to Come.] The same applies to parental honor…” Maharal, Lion Cub of Prague, Gur Arye, translated by Moshe David Kuhr, Gefen Publishing House, Volume III, pg. 152
The Sforno, R’ Ovadya ben Yaakov Sforno (1475-1550CE) writes,
“Behold, by sending away (the mother bird) from the nest, one performs an act of lovingkindness benefiting the masses, (namely) the preservation of the birds of the field who are ownerless property.” Sforno, Devarim 22, Mesorah Publishing, Ltd., pg. 937
R’ Moshe Alshich also highlights the point that the bird and her chicks are “ownerless.” Therefore, we would be within our rights to take both the mother and the chicks. However, the Torah requires that one restrain himself in this matter, for the good of all creation. The Ramban, R’ Moshe ben Nachman, comments the reason for this mitzvah is “that we should not have a cruel heart and be discompassionate.” He explains that one who takes both the mother and the chicks is equivalent to one who destroys a species. R’ Bachya ben Asher agrees and highlights the connection to commandment not to slaughter a mother animal and its offspring on the same day (Leviticus 22:25). Rambam, R’ Moshe ben Maimon, comments that the mother-bird would suffer if she saw her chicks being taken away.
The Torah’s concern for “the least of these” is remarkable. By a kal v’chomer argument, if one should be compassionate to a bird, how much more should he be compassionate to his fellow human! If one is faithful on a small scale, he will be faithful on a larger scale. Yeshua emphasizes HaShem’s compassion for humans, by highlighting his care for little sparrows,
“Aren’t two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father’s will, but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
This commandment of compassion is even explained as being connected to bringing Eliyahu HaNavi and the Messiah himself. The Midrash Rabbah comments,
“YOU SHALL LET THE BIRD GO. The Rabbis said: If you have fulfilled the precept of letting the bird go you will merit also to fulfill the precept of letting go free the Hebrew slave. Whence this? For it is said, “And when you let him go free from you (Deut. 15:13). Another explanation…If you will fulfill this precept you will hasten thereby the coming of King Messiah, of whom Scripture uses the expression shiluach (sending free), as it is said, “That send forth freely the feet of the ox and the donkey” (Isa. 32:20). Another comment: R. Tanhuma said: If you fulfill this precept you will hasten the coming of Elijah the prophet, of blessed memory, of whom Scripture uses the expression, ‘shiluach,’ as it is said, “Behold, I will send (sholeach) you Elijah the prophet” (Mal. 3:23); and he will come and comfort you. From where is this derived? For it is said, ‘And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children (ib. 24).’ Deuteronomy Rabbah 6:7, Soncino Press Edition
R’ Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev (1740–1809CE) retells a beautiful allegory of our passage,
“Turey Zahav…writes that it is up to us to “awaken the morning and not wait for the morning to awaken us.” This thought is alluded to in our verse above when the Torah speaks of “morning,” i.e. the word צפור in Aramaic is צפרא “brightness, morning.” If we were to translate this verse allegorically, it would go something like this: “when you experience spiritual awakening, brightness, indicating that G’d has paved the way for you to acquire insights, insights which reveal to you something about a world beyond our physical world, you will perform good deeds and study Torah in order to qualify for eventual membership in the society inhabiting that world.”
R’ Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, Kedushat Levi, Ki Teytze, translated by R’ Eliyahu Munk, pg. 764
THE PALACE OF MESSIAH
Based on this passage, an incredible narrative is woven in the Zohar about the “Bird’s Nest” which is a term for the Heavenly Palace of the Messiah. The Zohar paints this incredible picture,
בְּהַהוּא זִמְנָא, יִתְּעַר מַלְכָּא מְשִׁיחָא, לְנַפְקָא מִגּוֹ גִּנְתָּא דְּעֵדֶן, מֵהַהוּא אֲתָר דְּאִתְקְרֵי קַ”ן צִפּוֹ”ר, וְיִתְּעָר בְּאַרְעָא דְּגָלִיל
“Then the Messiah will arise from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called ‘The Bird’s Nest’. He will arise in the land of Galilee, and on that day the whole world shall be shaken and all the children of men shall seek refuge in caves and rocky places.
Concerning that time it is written: ‘And they shall go into the holes of the rocks and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake terribly the earth’ (Isa. 2:19). ‘
The glory of his majesty’ refers to the Messiah when he shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee; for in this part of the Holy Land the desolation first began, and therefore he will manifest himself there first, and from there begin to war against the world. After the forty days, during which the pillar shall have stood between heaven and earth before the eyes of the whole world, and the Messiah shall have manifested himself, a star shall come forth from the East variegated in hue and shining brilliantly, and seven other stars shall surround it, and make war on it from all sides, three times a day for seventy days, before the eyes of the whole world. . . the Messiah shall be hidden for twelve months in the pillar of fire, which shall return again, although it shall not be visible. After the twelve months the Messiah will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown. When he descends, the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world, and the Messiah will reveal himself, and mighty nations will gather round him, and he shall declare war against all the world. At that time the Holy One shall show forth his power before all the nations of the earth, and the Messiah shall be manifested throughout the whole universe, and all the kings will unite to fight against him, and even in Israel there will be found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against the Messiah.” Zohar 2:8a-b, Soncino Press Edition
R’ Chaim Vital, the disciple of R’ Yitzhak Luria, comments,
“Just as we find that Moshe Rabbeinu ascended to heaven, body and soul, and remained there for forty days…similarly, Moshiach will, through the help of the Almighty, merit to attain that lofty soul. He will then realize that he is in fact Moshiach, although no one else will be aware of this. This is the secret to which the Zohar alludes, ‘Moshiach will be revealed, yet no one will perceive him. Shortly afterwards, Moshiach will be hidden away, body and soul, in that Divine pillar [the spiritual incubation of this sublime soul]…Moshiach will thereupon rise up to heaven just as Moshe ascended the firmament, and will subsequently [return] and be revealed completely for all to see. The entire Jewish people will the perceive him and flock to him.” R’ Chaim Vital, Arba Mei’os Shekel Kesef, pg. 68, cited in And He Will Redeem Us, Mendelsohn Press pg. 134, cf. Sha’ar Hagilgulim ch 13
Returning to the Zohar, it continues its beautiful passage,
“This passage’, he said, ‘we interpret as an esoteric commandment in the Law, containing mysteries of doctrine, paths and ways known to the Fellowship and belonging to the thirty-two paths of the Torah.’ Then, turning to R. Eleazar, his son, he said: ‘At the time when the Messiah shall arise, there will be great wonders in the world. See now, in the lower Paradise there is a secret and unknown spot, embroidered with many colors, in which a thousand palaces of longing are concealed. No one may enter it, except the Messiah, whose abode is in Paradise. The Garden is encompassed with multitudes of saints who look to the Messiah as their leader, along with many hosts and bands of the souls of the righteous there. On New Moons, festivals, and Sabbaths, he enters that place, in order to find joyous delight in those secret palaces. Behind those palaces there is another place, entirely hidden and undiscoverable. It is called ‘Eden’, and no one may enter to behold it. Now the Messiah is hidden in its outskirts until a place is revealed to him which is called ‘the Bird’s Nest’. This is the place proclaimed by that Bird (the Shekinah) which flies about the Garden of Eden every day…The Messiah enters that abode, lifts up his eyes and beholds the Fathers (Patriarchs) visiting the ruins of God’s Sanctuary. He perceives mother Rachel, with tears upon her face; the Holy One, blessed be He, tries to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted (Jer. 31:14). Then the Messiah lifts up his voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous and saints who are there break out in crying and lamentation with him. When the crying and weeping resound for the second time, the whole firmament above the Garden begins to shake, and the cry echoes from five hundred myriads of supernal hosts, until it reaches the highest Throne. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, beckons to that ‘Bird’, which then enters its nest and comes to the Messiah, and flits about, uttering strange cries. Then from the holy Throne the Bird’s Nest and the Messiah are summoned three times, and they both ascend into the heavenly places, and the Holy One swears to them to destroy the wicked kingdom (Rome) by the hand of the Messiah, to avenge Israel, and to give her all the good things which he has promised her. Then the Bird returns to her place. The Messiah, however, is hidden again in the same place as before.” Zohar 2:8a-b, Soncino Press Edition
Recapping a few of these amazing passages from the Zohar and commentary of R’ Vital, we learn that:
A Star in the East shines to the world, heralding the Messiah
When the Messiah comes at first, no one, not even his own family, will recognize him
The Messiah is revealed in the Land of Galilee
The Messiah will be concealed
The Messiah will ascend to heaven to receive power, glory and HaShem’s crown. The Messiah descends and returns. R’ Yitzhak Lichtenstein (1824-1908 CE)
All the kings of the earth come to fight against him
For those unfamiliar with the New Testament, all of these elements are present in its pages. As R’ Yitzhak Lichtenstein once said when he began to read the New Testament,
“I looked for thorns and gathered roses.” R’ Yitzhak Lichtenstein
GATHERING THE CHICKS
The Tikkuney Zohar 12b says that the “bird’s nest” refers to the exile of the Shekhinah, or Divine Presence. R’ Bachya ben Asher, known as Rabbeinu Bachaye (1255-1340CE) describes that the word “mother” as,
“…a reference to the emanation Binah, the source from which the lower seven emanations derive their spiritual input in every seven year shemittah cycle to renew the face of the earth. The earth is the Qan HaOlam, the Nest of the World. It is known as the Im HaOlam, “Mother of the World” like the “mother bird” seeing it hatches all creatures.” R’ Bachya ben Asher on Deuteronomy, translated by R’ Eliyahu Munk, Lambda Publishers, Volume 7, pg. 2631-2632
Rebbe Nachman echoes this concept,
“Ha-EiM (the mother) alludes to Binah – which corresponds to IMma (mother) – and the Upper Sefirot.” Rebbe Nachman’s Torah, Volume III, Breslov Research Institute, pg.
There is a Chassidic Story that is related about the Rabbi of Lublin,
“They asked the Rabbi of Lublin: “Why is it that in the holy Book of Splendor, the turning to God which corresponds to the emanation ‘understanding’ is called ‘Mother’? He explained: “when a man confesses and repents, when his heart accepts Understanding and is converted to it, he becomes like a new-born child, and his own turning to God is his mother.” Tales of the Hasidim, Early Masters, Martin Buber, Schocken Books, pg. 314
Yeshua explained in the Gospel of John,
“Amein, I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ John 3:5-7
While it is beyond the scope of this article, this statement links the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, to the Partzuf of ‘Upper Mother’ (Imma Ila’a) from whom souls are born from above, becoming new creations. Regarding the Partzuf of the ‘Lower Mother/Daughter‘ (Imma HaTata’ah). This is mentioned in Revelation 12:1-6, 21:2. While this explanation is insufficient, the wise will understand. The Ben Ish Chai comments on the passage,
“בדרך ba-derekh (on the road) to mean that this will depend on making teshuva (repentance) which is also called “דרך derekh”, as our Rabbis of blessed memory explained in Midrash Yalkut Shimoni regarding Tehillim 25:8 (He instructs sinners in the way) and we know that teshuva will hasten the geulah. בכל עץ (on all trees) as a remez to the Torah, which can bring about the geulah. . . We also know that the Torah is called “עץ” (tree) as we saw in Mishli 3:18 (it is a tree of life to those who take hold unto it). האם רבצת (and the mother is sitting) to mean that we should not underestimate the value of these two tikunim, since the mother is a remez to the Shechinah which is “רבצת” sitting in galut (exile). . .” Ben Ish Chai, Aderet Eliyahu, translated by Rav Eliyahu Nissim Atias, Volume 2, pgs. 737-738
In a jaw-dropping statement, Yeshua heartbroken, speaks to Jerusalem,
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!” Matthew 23:37
Rebbe Nachman comments,
“The “chicks and eggs” represent souls that are weak and require the nurturing protection of “the mother bird” – i.e. the tzaddik.” Rebbe Nachman’s Torah, Volume III, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 310
On this level, Rebbe Nachman explains that ‘keeping the chicks’ refers to ‘elevating lost souls’ who are weak, and have “descended into the degradations and humiliations of this long exile” and require the nurturing of the Tzaddik. The Tzaddik is concealed in the Qan Tzippor, the Bird’s Nest, awaiting for Israel to be ready. Incredibly, the word “Tzippor” bird spelled in its full form is equivalent to the value of YESHUA:
ציפור = ישוע = 386
There is a beautiful story of the Baal Shem Tov, as retold by Howard Schwartz, which is as follows,
“The Baal Shem Tov was once praying with his Hasidim. That day he prayed with great concentration, not only word by word, but letter by letter, so that the others finished long before he did. At first they waited for him, but before long, they lost patience and one by one they left.” Later the Baal Shem Tov came to them and said: While I was praying, I ascended the ladder of your prayers all the way into Paradise. As I ascended, I heard a song of indescribable beauty. At last I reached the palace of the Messiah, in the highest heavens, known as the Bird’s Nest. The Messiah was standing by his window peering out at a tree of great beauty.“…I followed his gaze and saw that his eyes were fixed on a golden dove, whose nest was in the top branches of that tree. That is when I realized that the song pervading all of Paradise was coming from that golden dove. And I understood that the Messiah could not bear to be without that dove and its song for as much as a moment. Then it occurred to me that if I could capture the dove, and bring it back to this world, the Messiah would be sure to follow. So I ascended higher, until I was within arm’s reach of the golden dove. But just as I reached for it, the ladder of prayers collapsed.” Tree of Souls, The Ladder of Prayers, Howard Schwartz, Oxford University Press, pg. 490
The redemption is dependent upon Israel, if they ‘hear his voice.’ The book Tomer Devorah of the Ramak, R’ Moshe Cordevero (1522–1570CE), says,
כצִיפר נודדת מִן קנה ־ שהִיא השכינה , כן אִיש נודד מִמקוֹמוֹ, ונטיר לה, ואומי דלא יתיב לאתריה עד דיחזיר לה לאתרה (זוה”ק תצא דף רעה). הנה גם הוא מחֹלל מפשעינו מדכא לרצונו מעונותינו ורפואת שניהם בידינו
רבי משה קורדובירו, תומר דבורה, פרק ה
“Like a bird who wanders from her nest” – [the “bird”] referring to the Shechinah, “so is a man (referring to HaShem) who wanders from his place” (Mishlei 27:8). He (HaShem) waits for Her (the Shechinah) and swears that He will not return to His place until He returns Her to Her place (Zohar Saitzei 278a). Thus, He, too, is ill because of our transgressions, crushed willingly because of our iniquities. The healing of both is in our hands.” Tomer Devorah, Chapter 5, 21st of Month, Tomer Publications, pg. 54