The way out: a true story and allegory

This morning, after dropping my son off, I left my car window open because it was hot and I was planning to go out again just a couple of hours later. When I got into my car, I saw feathers (pictured here) and other evidence of a bird's presence. I thought, "I hope it founds its way out."

The frantic flapping I heard indicated that  my hope was in vain. Clearly, the bird had not managed to find that the opening that had let it in was the only possible exit. I got out and opened the trunk back of the mini-van and was sure to stand out of the way. A very small bird (amazing that it had that many feathers to spare!) quickly flew out.

I thought about this in connection to Yom Kippur. The idea is connected to Rabbeinu Yonah's image of escape from a prison.  A lot of us feel trapped in a spiritual sense. We can't find that small opening where we fell into the trap and so feel that we can't ever get out. The gift of Yom Kippur is that another exit opens up, and we can get out if only we still have the will to do so.

And, yes, I will likely keep my car windows closed even when I'm going back out in the car shortly.


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