Sunday, June 15, 2008

695. Mazal tov on your new bird

Mazal tov, Israel. I was happy to see that you recently declared a new national bird--what country is complete without one? And your choice of the non-Kosher long-billed hoopoe warmed my heart, because I had my own hoopoe Torah-related experience last year:

As I finished reading, the rabbi turned to me and whispered, "What's a hoopoe?" "I have no idea," I whispered back, and immediately wanted to beat my breast and declare "Al chet." What kind of Jew was I to study and chant a passage and not even bother to crack the dictionary? Then again, the rabbi had been reading this section for many decades. (Although I'm sure he knew the meaning in his native language.) He caught the eye of the other rabbi. "What's a hoopoe?" he whispered. The other rabbi shrugged. I felt slightly less guilty.

--from here.

But Stephen Colbert said it much better than I ever could:

(On a more serious note, here's a beautiful meditation on Israel and the hoopoe:

"Will Peace Take Flight?" )

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