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Joining the Marine [Park] Core!

Feeling Blue This Spring Season?



                         Rabbi Hillel L. Yarmove  


Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting to feel blue at all just a few days ago.

But when my young friend R’ Nesanel Steinmetz asked me upon our leaving shul1  after Minchah whether I had noticed the two gorgeously tinted blue eggs resting in a nest positioned in a small red-cedar (actually, juniper) tree on my way into the synagogue, I became very blue indeed. Yet this was a happy blue, not a sad one. Indeed, I think you can see from at least one of the photos that I wasn’t dismayed in the least 2. What an exquisite scenario: The small red-cedar shrub, the pastel-blue eggs, and the amazingly symmetrical nest perched on top of the diminutive tree comprise a natural portrait that does not lend itself to being easily forgotten! 

And what about shiluach haken 3Really, I hadn’t then had the time to wait for the mother bird to appear. However, I could at least dream of perhaps performing this special mitzvah at some other, more-suitable time!

But anyway, this column’s short essay is not about the mitzvah of shiluach haken4. Something else seems to have prodded me to write.

What caught my attention was the message of hope that the two “robin’s-egg-blue” eggs, nestled as they were at the pinnacle of a small red-cedar tree, appeared to be

conveying to me. And what was that?

Just this!

We are moving inexorably toward the time of Mattan Torahseinu when we received the two luchos habris on the pinnacle of a small mountain somewhere in the Sinai desert. They also were divinely crafted of a gorgeously tinted blue material, albeit sapphire and not the calcium-laden shells of a robin’s egg. 

Sometimes (or so it seems to me) we become so involved in the tawdry, picayune details of our daily routine that we fail to see the larger, all-inclusive picture. Now that it’s spring for sure, we might find ourselves concentrating on the (relatively) warm weather yet totally forgetting about the upcoming Yom Tov that has established our pedigree as the quintessential Nation of Torah for untold generations.

And then all of a sudden we wake up to some small detail in our ambiance which tugs at our heartstrings and gently nudges us back to remembering the massive checkpoints in life that really count.

Just like those two small radiantly blue robin’s eggs situated at the zenith of a small red-cedar tree which jump-started my awareness of our closeness to Har Sinai even now, thousands of years after the original mind-boggling event itself.

We’re coming closer to Shavuos—oh, so very much closer! Such being the case, I really don’t mind if you’ll now call me “Mr. Blue.”




Questions or comments? I may be reached at hillyarm@yeshivanet.com. Have a most edifying Kabbolas HaTorah, dear readers!

  1. Congregation Bais HaLevy, located in South Lake Drive in Lakewood.
  2. By the way, kudos to R’ Nesanel, an expert photographer, for having taken some of these shots.
  3. Interestingly enough, according to Harav Schwartz, mechaber of the excellent sefer Kan Tzippur, the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a kosher fowl.
  4. According to the Shl”ah Hakadosh, it’s “kein” in the abstract—but kan in the construct or genitive form, and thus: “shiluach hakein,” but “kan tzippur.”


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