Office of the Chief Rabbi

D’var Torah: Parashat Ki Teitzei

Coincidences are much more than just coincidences…

What is the significance of coincidences?

In parashat Ki Teitzei we are given a fascinating mitzvah, which I doubt you have ever – or will ever – perform. The Torah says ‘ki yikarei kan tzipur lefanecha’ – if you are out and about, and happen to come across a bird’s nest, and you want to take the young or the eggs, then you must first send the mother bird away in order that it should not witness you actually taking her young. As a result, the Torah promises a reward: “l’ma’an yitav lach” – in order that it will be good for you, “v’harachta yamim”, and you will enjoy length of days.

Now there is an apparent misspelling here – “ki yikarei”, ‘when it just happens that you find this birds nest’. Yikarei comes from ‘mikreh’ which means a coincidence, and therefore Yikarei should have been spelt ‘Yud- kuf – reish – hei’, however its spelt ‘Yud – kuf – reish – alef’, which comes from the word ‘koreh’ which means ‘to call’, indicating that literally, what the Torah is telling us here, is that this bird’s nest is calling out to us. What can this mean?

Hashem obviously wants us to know that every single coincidence issues a call to us to do something in the responsible manner. In this particular case, the call of the bird’s nest is for us to reach out with compassion towards one of Hashem’s creatures. And when it comes to the reward, “l’ma’an yitav lach” – it will be good for you, you’ll feel good! But more significantly “v’harachta yamim” – you will have length of days. With ‘arichut yamim’, you will squeeze value out of every single moment of precious life that you have here on earth.

If we relate to every coincidence as an opportunity, then our days will be filled with incredible fulfilment.

In every single coincidence there is a hidden opportunity, and when it calls out to us, let us respond in the best possible way.

Shabbat Shalom


-- Download D'var Torah: Parashat Ki Teitzei as PDF --