4

A few days ago, a friend called me and said that his daughter gave birth to a boy 23 days ago. Next week, he is planning to "make a pigeon" for him. He wanted to borrow a silver tray from me to celebrate the occasion.

I'm really confused. What does he mean by "making" a pigeon? He does have a woodshop in his garage and he is very handy. Maybe he means making a birdhouse for his pigeons? But, what does that have to do with his grandson being 30 days old? And, why does he need my silver tray for pigeon-making?

I don't understand this at all. Perhaps, someone can explain this to me.


This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

  • 1
    See one of the books of the "All of a kind family" series where they deal with this same issue. – Harel13 Feb 24 at 18:51
4

Since your friend borrowed a silver tray, he must have been intending to use it to cover a golden pigeon's wings. But where would he have found the golden pigeon?

A golden pigeon is a reward for reciting a blessing (Berachot 53b, translation modified from Sefaria):

רַבָּה בַּר בַּר חָנָה הֲוָה קָאָזֵל בְּשַׁיַּירְתָּא, אֲכַל וְאִשְׁתְּלִי וְלָא בָּרֵיךְ. אֲמַר: הֵיכִי אַעֲבֵיד? אִי אָמֵינָא לְהוּ ״אִנְּשַׁאי לְבָרֵךְ״, אָמְרוּ לִי: בָּרֵיךְ, כׇּל הֵיכָא דִּמְבָרְכַתְּ — לְרַחֲמָנָא מְבָרְכַתְּ. מוּטָב דְּאָמֵינָא לְהוּ: אִנְּשַׁאי יוֹנָה דְּדַהֲבָא. אֲמַר לְהוּ: אִנְטַרוּ לִי, דְּאִנְּשַׁאי יוֹנָה דְּדַהֲבָא. אָזֵיל וּבָרֵיךְ וְאַשְׁכַּח יוֹנָה דְּדַהֲבָא.

Rabba bar bar Ḥana was once traveling with a caravan. He ate and forgot and did not recite a blessing. He said to himself: What shall I do? If I say to them: I forgot to recite a blessing, they will say to me to recite a blessing here, as wherever you recite a blessing, you recite a blessing to God. It is better that I say to them: I forgot a golden pigeon. He said to them: Wait for me, as I forgot a golden pigeon. He went and recited a blessing and found a golden pigeon.

Since your friend is making a pigeon on the 30th day after his son was born, it would probably fall under the category of blessings said on seeing something, which are said after 30 days of not having seen something. His newborn son, it seems, is either a great sage or a king (or possibly his wife gave birth to 600,000-tuplets), which is a circumstance that calls for saying a blessing. So your friend must have been intending to say a blessing, and fully expected that like Rabba bar bar Chana, he would find a golden pigeon. Though since he went 30 days without seeing his newborn son just to say a blessing, he might find a golden raven instead.

|improve this answer|||||
2

It seems that your friend is a Samaritan, who have the custom to give their babies a sculpture in the likeness of a pigeon when they have a berit milah.

We learn in Chullin 6a:

כי הא דר"ש בן אלעזר שדריה ר"מ לאתויי חמרא מבי כותאי אשכחיה ההוא סבא א"ל ושמת סכין בלועך אם בעל נפש אתה הלך ר"ש בן אלעזר וספר דברים לפני ר"מ וגזר עליהן מאי טעמא אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק דמות יונה מצאו להן

Like that case involving Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, in which Rabbi Meir dispatched him to bring wine from the area of the Samaritans. A certain elder found him and said to him: “And put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite”, (as a warning to distance himself from them and not to drink their wine, because they were not reliable). Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar went and related those matters before Rabbi Meir, and Rabbi Meir issued a decree against them. What is the reason that the Samaritans are deemed unreliable? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: They found that they possessed a likeness of a pigeon.

So, the elderly man in the Gemara warns us that every Samaritan owns the likeness of a pigeon.

Tosafot ad loc. explain that:

דכל מקום שהוא מזכיר ההוא סבא הוא אליהו

Whenever the Gemara mentions 'a certain elder', he is Eliyahu.

How did Eliyahu know that the Samaritans have these pigeons?

Well, we know that Eliyahu appears at every berit milah. So it must be that the Samaritan custom is to make the pigeon and give it to the child in honor of his berit, which is how Eliyahu became aware of it.

Although a berit milah normally takes place on the eighth day of the child's life, your friend's grandson must have been seriously unwell, and only recovered when he was 23 days old. They would therefore need to wait one week, until they are able to perform the circumcision, and give him his pigeon, when he is 30 days old.

Finally, I'm guessing that your friend is so excited about the birth of his grandson that he wants to make the pigeon out of silver, which is why he wants your silver tray. I would be wary of giving it to him though, bearing in mind the second commandment.

|improve this answer|||||

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .