Although the distance between our old house and our new house is only seven miles, there's a world of difference. Our old house sat on a acre of land surrounded by woods. At any given moment when we looked into the yard there was a plethora of birds, squirrels and the occasional deer, fox and even black bears!
Our new house is in a more urban area and it took a few weeks before we realized that when we glanced out at the back yard there was nothing moving. We were so used to the scampering of squirrels and the fluttering of birds, but in this house I can probably count on one hand how many times I've seen a bird or squirrel! It was time for a bird feeder.
The timing is perfect. Here's why:
This week (January 26) is Shabbat Shira. One of the customs associated with this day is to place crumbs outside for
the birds to eat. We read in the Torah this week about G-d giving
the manna to the nation of Israel, for their sustenance. Moses told
the nation of Israel that the manna would not fall on Shabbat, so
they should collect a double portion on Friday. There were some people who
wanted to embarrass Moses and weaken his authority--they took manna they had
collected on Friday, and after dark placed it out on the ground. In the morning,
they hoped that others would think that the manna did fall on Shabbat,
and Moses was wrong. But no manna was around on Shabbat morning--the birds carried
it away before the people awoke, so that they would trust Moses and respect the sanctity of the Shabbat. To
reward the birds for this noble deed, we feed them during this week.
So.....the feeder has been up for a few days...no birds yet :(