web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Wounded Sparrow’s Message

Teens-061512

My friend’s mother died the other day. I went to the funeral, cried with the mourners, walked the traditional four cubits following the coffin to escort the dead to their resting place, as is customary at Jewish funerals, and then went over to my friend to offer my condolences. And then it was over. The guests went home, the family went to bury their loved one, and I went back to my life.

But I can’t stop thinking about my friend. I can’t shake off the sadness I feel when I think of what my friend will go through in the coming days, weeks and months, as she gets used to life without her mother. People are telling me that life will go on, there will be simchas to attend, and new life will continue to come into the world even after my friend’s mother’s passing. But I can’t accept it. I’m not looking for a justification for continuing with life, for going back to my routine and feeling happy at the good things that happen even while others are experiencing tragedy, because I’m not happy. I’m looking for understanding, since I’m suffering along with my friend, and mourning her loss along with her.

Somehow, I can’t adequately express the sadness that I’m feeling for my friend at this terribly difficult time, and so no one understands.

But G-d understands.

On my lunch break today, I was contemplating these thoughts as I wandered aimlessly down the promenade outside my school, absorbed in my sadness. I considered calling a friend to talk, but gave up that idea when I realized its futility – people somehow just don’t get it.

And then G-d spoke to me.

I was walking past Café Metro when I noticed a sparrow leaning forward with her face on the ground. I didn’t want to look at such a reminder of life’s sadness, but as I walked by, I noticed it move. The sparrow was still alive. I paused for a moment, trying to think if there was some way in which I could help this suffering creature, and then I remembered the cream cheese sandwich I was carrying in my bag, but had postponed eating since, in my current mood I had no appetite. I decided to share my sandwich with the sparrow.

Then and there, in the middle of Myrtle Promenade, I opened my sandwich, crumbled a few pieces and placed them near the sparrow. She blinked her eyes, fluttered her wings, but did not eat the crumbs. I broke off several more pieces and placed them close to her beak, since it appeared she could not move her head. I stood for a few moments, watching sadly as her body expanded and contracted with her rapid breathing. After a few moments, she lifted her head.

I stood by, watching helplessly, wishing I could do more to help this poor little sparrow, as she slowly continued to raise her head more and began to stand upright. As this was happening, a gentleman walked by and noticed the bird and me. “That your bird?” he asked. I told him, no, it wasn’t, but I saw it was hurt and I wanted to help it. He didn’t have any advice for me, other than to take it home and nurse it back to health, but I was afraid to do so, and I felt I had nothing to offer the bird medically.

The bird began fluttering her wings, trying to fly. She succeeded, and flew all of two feet to the window ledge of the café, and half walked, half flied back and forth along it. As she did so, she bumped repeatedly against the glass, opposite the feet of an afternoon patron, oblivious to the disoriented sparrow just inches away from her, separated by the café window; a few inches away, but worlds apart.

A woman walked by, and without stopping, called out “it looks like her foot is stuck there.” The bird’s foot was not stuck, but I was touched by the fact that an average paranoid New Yorker was willing to get involved to a minimal extent when she saw that others cared. At this point, the gentleman walked off, I wished him a good day, and a minute later, I walked off as well. I couldn’t watch the sparrow die. Too much sadness was going on, and I didn’t want the sparrow to add to it.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Wounded Sparrow’s Message”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
This is what is left of the bus that was firebombed Saturday night.
Shhhhhhh! Police Now Say Bus was Firebombed Saturday Night
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Yocheved Michelson
Teens-072012

When I think of how to describe my Zaidy to someone who has never met him, I find myself at a loss. I don’t know how to put my grandfather’s presence into words in a way that will sufficiently describe the picture I have of him in my mind. The fact that my most vivid memories are from when I was quite young make the task no easier. He was, simply, “Zaidy.” Regardless of profession, history or future, he just was.

Teens-061512

My friend’s mother died the other day. I went to the funeral, cried with the mourners, walked the traditional four cubits following the coffin to escort the dead to their resting place, as is customary at Jewish funerals, and then went over to my friend to offer my condolences. And then it was over. The guests went home, the family went to bury their loved one, and I went back to my life.

I love coffee, but I cannot drink it. This has been the case since my doctor issued the verdict last month – no coffee and no milk. I was quite disappointed to hear that as I love coffee, but I was determined to follow expert medical advice. That conviction, however, did not last more than one week into a new semester with a full course load.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/the-wounded-sparrows-message/2012/06/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: