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Why is the mitzvah of sending away the mother bird before taking the young called שילוח הקן (Shiluach haken; "sending the nest")? It's not the nest you send away; it's the mother bird. I would have called the mitzvah something like שילוח הציפור (sending the bird) since that's what one does. Alternatively, שילוח האם (sending the mother) matches the language from the Torah: "שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח אֶת-הָאֵם".

So why is the mitzvah called shiluach haken?

marked as duplicate by Double AA Oct 2 '17 at 3:02

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R. Yeruham Fischel Perla (Negative commandments, §137) explains that since it is forbidden to take any of the birds until the mother is sent away the term "שילוח הקן" implies sending [of the mother permitting] the nest. As he writes:

והיינו דקרי למצוה זו שילוח הקן. כלומר שילוח שמתיר את הקן.

Or, "nest" can refer to the eggs (cf. Rashi BM 102a, s.v. קרי) hence the translation could be: sending [of the mother permitting] the eggs.

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