A Hanukah Fable of an Eagle who became a Rabbi

Samuel Segal is a bald eagle.
Samuel Segal is very regal.
This Fable relates how and why
Samuel Segal became a Rabbi.

How did Samuel Segal, a regal bald eagle, become a Rabbi? He studied at a rabbinical school just like everyone else who becomes a Rabbi.

When he applied to the rabbinical school, the head of the rabbinical school said to Samuel Segal, “An American bald eagle does not look very Jewish, but I know that looking Jewish is not very important. What is important is your desire to study Torah and to do Mitsvot. We have had Samuel Segals who became Rabbis before, but we have never had a Samuel Segal who is a regal bald eagle, become a Rabbi.”

“Then I will be the first,” said Samuel Segal.

“But you are an eagle,” said the head of the rabbinical school, “and an eagle is not a kosher bird.”

“I know.” said Samuel Segal, “Eagles are not kosher birds like chickens, ducks or turkeys because we hunt small animals. When I first studied the Torah I learned about many different Mitsvot. I wanted to do as many of the Mitsvot as I could, so I stopped eating dead mammals, and I stopped hunting rabbits. Now I only eat fish like trout and salmon, and occasionally a little herring.

I also started eating Matzah, and stoped eating bread and pasta during the week of Passover. Now I am a kosher American bald eagle.”

“A very kosher, regal, bald eagle,” said the head of the rabbinical school. “How did you come to study Torah?”

“I was very lucky,” said Samuel Segal, the regal bald eagle, “I became friends with two Jewish children, Aisha and Talya Segal. They invited me to dinner one Friday night. It was my first Shabbat dinner and I loved it.

“They lit the Shabbat candles and said the blessing. Then they blessed the wine and the bread and sang some Hebrew songs.

“Their parents were very proud of them and the whole family glowed with Shabbat joy and peacefulness. They invited me back again and again. I loved celebrating Shabbat with them and I joined them in blessing the Shabbat candles and the wine and the Hallah.

“I asked them lots of questions about Judaism, so they invited me to come with them to the Jewish school where they studied. At the school I learned about God, and the Torah, and all kinds of Mitsvot that I could do. The Segal family also took me to Shabbat and holy day services with them.

“After a few years, I decided I wanted to become Jewish, so the Segals took me to see Rabbi Maller. We had many long talks. He asked me what was my favorite Jewish holiday.

“I told Rabbi Maller that almost all American eagles believe that freedom is the most important value; so Hanukah, the holiday that celebrates the first battle ever fought for religious freedom, is my favorite.

“Every American eagle wants to be an independent individual, so as to be as free as possible. But I am different. I also wanted to do Mitsvot.

“I always thought responsibility was the most important value and I always wanted to be part of a community. And since a group of Eagles is called a  congregation or a convocation; I wanted to join the Jewish People and be responsible to care for and share with other people both Jewish and Non-Jews. So now Passover and Simkat Torah are my favorite holidays.

“Also, American eagles mate for life; so I believe that loyalty is a very important value. The Jewish people have been loyal and faithful to the Torah for over 3,000 years, and I admire the Jewish People very much for that.

“Rabbi Maller told me I already had a Jewish soul so there was no reason why I shouldn’t join the Jewish people. He said I didn’t look very Jewish, but I acted and thought very Jewish; and that is what is important.

“I studied with him for several months. When I became Jewish I took the family name of Segal, because if the Segal children Aisha and Talya had not encouraged me, I never would have studied Torah or become Jewish. Rabbi Maller gave me the name Samuel, after the first King of Israel, because I was going to be the first Jewish American bald eagle.”

“And now you are going to become the first American bald eagle Rabbi.” said the head of the rabbinical school. “Welcome home, Samuel Segal you do indeed have a regal eagle Jewish soul.”

So Samuel Segal, the regal bald eagle, became a Rabbi. He taught Torah to many other eagles who now fish and migrate together. Aisha and Talya truly did a great Mitsvah when they reached out, and invited in, a regal bald eagle who became Rabbi Samuel Segal.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 250 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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