We are “sparking” something interesting this week, the awareness that Kosher laws are meant to engender in us a more refined nature. That is why certain animals and bird are off-limits to us, because of their natures that are not refined and good. Here are some interesting bird lessons:

The Chasida

There is a generous bird good at the art of giving

It seems through her acts that a Chesedik life she’s living

But the Chassida is only nice to her friends

And that is where her Chesed ends

So although she’s called a Chasiddah

She is quite a meanah.

OUR LESSON: Chesed has to be done for everyone, not just to our friends.

[Quick notes: Chesed means kindness, of which Avraham was the paragon, doing for everyone, of his ilk and of any stripe and color. Some folks think they are kind when they do favors for their friends only. And that is where the Chasida, a bird that is kind only to its kind, teaches us that we are wrong.]

Raiyah – Little Miss Negativity

Perched on a branch in Babylon

Sits a bird with her sight right-on

From miles away she can see

Myriad types of misery

She looks out for rot and decay

Finding negatives makes her day

Which is why on a Jewish menu she won’t be

Never Kosher is the trait of Negativity.

OUR LESSON: Be a positive person…or else you are a negative non-kosher being.

Aiyah-Insincere Lie’ah

Of birds not kosher because of character flaws there are a few

And the Aiyah is one because she makes commitments untrue

When a need is brought up she cheeps of how she’ll help out

But when it comes time to do things she won’t be found about

That is why she is called Aiyah, which means ‘where is she’

The bird who gives offers of assistance insincerely

And though you believe the promises of help given by the Aiyah

You find out when it comes to deliver she is quite the lie’ah

OUR LESSON: Keep your commitments to help out…or don’t make those commitments. When you promise to help, you must deliver.

Dai’yah – Naysayer to Good Deeds

Negative character traits can be found in another bird unkosher.

That the world has maxed out on good deeds she is so sure

Any time there is a call to do good, to take up a cause and give

She caws ‘why can’t all you do-gooders just finally let us live.

“Daiy, enough,” she cries, “haven’t we done more than our share

“Stop talking about doing good, too much asking is no fair.”

Always cawing, always complaining, after every Tzedaka solicitation

“Daiy,” she caws, “daiy,” she cries, recruiting others to non-participation

Because she stops others from going ahead and getting good work done

This ornery bird, the Daiy’ah, joins the list of food we shun.

[What is most interesting is that the Daiy’ah has the option of just not joining in the good work. However, she doesn’t want to be the only one not so good, so she tries to convince others not to get involved. And that is completely inexcusable.]

And so, Dear Friends of Belz, that wraps up our Spark for the Week. Just remember, what is fascinating is that some birds should be kosher as they have the kosher simanin/signs, but we consider them nonkosher because of some aspect of their personality disorders. The bottom line to remember is that to be “kosher” you have to have your personality in the right order. You have to be a positive, giving, loving human being!