Bye-bye Birdie, Hello promises

I pulled out a full page ad from the April edition of a Brooklyn-based magazine. On the left side are pictures of what look like doves in flight. The text says:
Shiluach Hakan
This is an
opportunity to
perform the special
mitzvah of Shiluach HaKan
for which Hashem Promises:

Shidduchim *Children
A Good & Long Life

Call Rabbi K_______ at
18 years of experience
[in Hebrew letters] behaskamos harabanim hagoanim shlita
[now my own take on this]
First of all, I don't know what the rabbi claim 18 years of experience in -- keeping birds' nests and charging people for the privliege of sending away mother birds when they have no need of the young birds or the eggs? It is not certain that the mitzvah is actually fulfilled when one just goes through the motions to send the mother bird away for no real toeles.

IMoreover, don't know where they got the idea that shiluach hakan works for shiduchim. The Torah does say that the mitzvah -- like that of kivud av -- will result in good and long years (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 22:7). But the Gemara points out that even this explicit reward is not to be taken in a literal sense.

( Kiddushin 39b) presents the following story: A father and son were walking together when the father spotted a bird's nest. The father asked the son to ascend a ladder, send away the mother bird, and bring down the nest. As the son was descending after completing the task, he fell off the ladder and died. The Talmud remarks on the fact that the son, who was simultaneously fulfilling both the mitzvah of honoring one's father and sending away the mother bird, received neither goodness nor long life, the specified reward for both of these mitzvot. Therefore, the sages explain that the blessings of long life and goodness mainly refer to what one earns for the World to Come.

In his Shabbos HaGadol drasha, a local rabbi cried out again the organizations that advertise the magical effects that result from sending them money and even cite certain names for endorsement. He declared that he does not believe the rabbi named would ever have said such a thing. He pointed out the absurdity by saying that the traffic on the Van Wyck will not instantly clear for you at your wish as a result of making a donation. He wasn't referring to this particular ad, but the same idea applies. Such magical thinking is not what Torah true Judaism is about. Really what happens when your wish doesn't come true? Would the appropriate response be, "Well, I did my part, but Hashem did not keep His promise!" Of course, not. That is the point of the story in the Gemara. These instant "solutions" peddled as the quick and easy way to get what you want are antithetical to Torah truth..


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