ואת החסידה… (שמיני יא: יט)
Rashi asks, why is this bird called a חסידה? Since it does חסידות- חסד with her friends by feeding them.
If so, the chassida should have been a kosher bird since, according to the Ramban, the impurity of a bird is because of its cruelty. The Chiddushei Harim zt’’l explains: True that the chassida does chessed, but the chessed is just with her friends – she doesn’t feed those who aren’t her friend, and thus she can be considered a non kosher bird – because when providing another, there shouldn’t be a difference between friend and foe.
Maran Rebbe Yissocher Dov of Belz zt’’l explained with a beautiful parable what it means to care for another when someone needs help.
A student studied at a medical university for many years to become a doctor. After completing his semesters, he took his final exam and excelled with every answer. As his professor was about to sign his doctorate, he told the student he had one more question to be answered. “What do you do when someone is injured, and blood is gushing from his wound?” The student replied, “You prescribe a medication that stops the bleeding.”
“And if the medicine isn’t available, what do you do?” continued the doctor. “You apply a special acid to stop the bleeding.”
“And if that acid isn’t available?” countered the doctor. “Then you burn a piece of cloth and apply the ashes to the wound,” replied the student. “And if you don’t have a piece of cloth, what do you do?” continued the doctor, and the student stayed dumbstruck, not knowing what to reply.
The professor took the doctorate and ripped it to pieces while grabbing the student’s shirt. “If there isn’t fabric to burn, you tear off your own shirt and tie it around the wound to stop the bleeding. If a patient’s situation doesn’t touch your heart and you don’t feel their pain enough to tear off your shirt to help another, you can’t be a doctor!”