I live in the northern Galilee town of Tzfat, Israel in a neighborhood
called Neve Oranim. I have a panoramic view of the hula valley which lies
on the Syrian-African rift, the migrating path through Israel’s skies.
According to Dr. Yossi Leshem, the Director of the International center for
the study of bird migration, Israel has one of the highest levels of bird
migration in the world and the second busiest route with over 500 million
The Hula Reserve, a mere 20 minutes from my house gets as many as
42,000 cranes along with pelicans, wild geese, storks, plovers and a host of
exotic birds in an autumn or spring season. Being privileged to view this
extraordinary migration phenomenon gives cause to raise one’s eyes skyward
to sing the praises of the King, or at the very least, put pen to paper and
spill one’s inspiration out on paper and so I did.
BIRDSONG BY ARIELLA BRACHA WALDINGER
WE think of Birdsong as an auditory experience but today I heard the song
of the birds without hearing a sound or should I say, the sounds I heard
were the stirrings of my heart and soul feeling what my eyes were
seeing…..the majesty of G-d’s winged creation.
Gazing out the large sliding glass door of our lovely home in Tzfat,
situated high upon a hill, my eyes caught the flash of movement in the
I moved out of doors where I was privy to view….flying in shimmering
symmetry above the majestic peak of Har Hermon,and the stunning panorama of the Golan heights, a large migrating flock of beautiful, white birds. They
appeared to be dancing through the air in an exquisite rhapsody of fanciful
movement. I stood mesmerized by their swirling motion of absolute
harmonious rhythm gracing the skies with their unsung melody. There was a
cadence to their definitive movement…an expansion and contraction like a
powerful heartbeat in the sky. I could feel the power of their unity and the
intuitiveness of their onward/upward migratory journey to their inborn
Watching this cohesive group of bird bodies blending and intertwining in
this beautiful living art literally took my breath away.
At one point they dove through the billowy clouds and emerged drenched in
sunlight with shimmering, glittering bits of what looked like fairy dust
stuck to their bodies. I was giddy with delight at the spectrum of light
penetrating their exquisite, outstretched wings.
As the heavenly flock flew out of my visual range, I felt deeply transformed
by the powerful sensory experience.
I turned inward to gaze at my own majestic soul beauty.I have wings to fly
I said to myself and I have the stunning blueprint of the Torah to guide me
throughout my entire life. Embedded in my DNA is the homing device that
leads me inward and upward to my personal destiny.
Just as Hashem created this exquisite creature called “bird” with its
inherent ability to soar and glide gracefully through the skies, homing in on
where it needs to be at all times, so too we, as G-d’s exquisite children, can
soar and glide through the clouds of life and emerge into the sunlight of
life and experiences…….glittering and shimmering with our own exquisite
mastery of movement….but only if we follow G-d’s flight plan for our own
The words of this poem/Blessings flew into my mind ( I was like a virtual
repository of thoughts and feelings)
May we find the grace to claim our space, wherever it may be.
And with the might of G-d’s divine light
Like the bird, may we choose to soar free.
To fly with might. To live with delight With strength from the One up above.
and may we carry our weight
in an effortless grace, restoring our souls in love.
May we choose to be harmoniously attached to all of the nation And may that
very act in fullness of heart give us cause for celebration.
May we integrate…. the warmth of the sun into every facet of life and dive
through our days in peaceful ways and may they be without strife.
May we soar high like the birds in the sky Knowing our place in G-d’s plan
And feel with our hearts the love on G-d’s part as He takes us by the hand.
Like the bird flying high into the sky ….
with G-d’s help always finding our way
with courage and joy and might and delight enlivening each and every day.
May we integrate the unity of the migrating flock high above,
And enrich our days in beautiful ways With gratitude to G-d from the
As time has gone on, and I have come to view everything through the lens of
spiritual symbolism. I dove (like a bird) into the deeper meaning of the
word “migration.” The definition explains that migration is usually a
response to changes in temperature, food supply, or amount of daylight, and
often undertaken for purposes of breeding. Breeding really means creating
life or giving life to offspring and to self through the birth of the
Additionally, another definition which hadn’t occurred to me initially is
the movement of people from one place to another. The question arises, “What
makes a person or people migrate?” There are two main aspects of migration
called push and pull factors. Push factors are those that push or force
people out due to negative reasons i.e., civil unrest, job insecurity etc.
Pull factors encourage people to move for positive reasons i.e., better
life, better place, great weather, great places to explore etc.
My dear fellow Jews, look through the lens of Israel, this birding
superpower where spiritual messages and divine emanations soar through the
air, where your soul can ascend higher than any bird. Allow the pull of the
migrating spirit to lift you into the thermal updrafts and carry you to The
Land G-d promised our forefathers. Give birth to the deepest part of you and
the newborn spirit which will come to you as a result of your courageous
Your body, mind and soul will feel the satisfaction and your life will be
blessed beyond all blessings…G-d guarantees it.
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