If a bird’s nest appears before you on the road…send away the mother bird and you may take the young for yourself. (Devarim 22:7-8)
One who finds a bird’s nest with either chicks or eggs in it has to send away the mother bird before taking the chicks or eggs.
Rashi (on Berachos 33b) explains that the objective of the mitzvah is to show that we are servants of Hashem and we follow His command in all areas of life.
The Talmud (Chullin 80a) teaches that we also learn to have mercy on Hashem’s creations.
The Torah states that for this mitzvah, one will be rewarded with goodness and long life (ibid., 8). This is explained as measure for measure: for helping the mother bird live, you will gain life.
The Midrash states that one who performs this mitzvah will merit to find a wife and to have children (Devarim Rabbah 6).
***These four mitzvos apply to all.
Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.