The Difference Between A Dove And A Crow

This week while walking on the beach I noticed an honorable crow that was minding its own business, so engaged and self-confident it was, that it didn’t even blink when I approached. Our friend, the crow on the shore, was happily satisfied eating a crab.

This incident reminded me of the biblical story of the flood: after ten months of the flood Noah sends the crow from the ark, to see if the the water is gone. The bible in Genesis 8:7 doesn’t tell us what happens to the crow, it just continues to tell us that Noah sends the dove.

Looking at nature and the way it works, it’s easy to understand why the bible does not deal with the crow any longer, since most probably the crow found a crab (a creature that thrives in water) and ate it, like I saw on the shore.

The dove of course brings a different attitude to life. When Noah sends the dove from the ark to check the water levels on earth, the dove comes back to the ark, since it didn’t find any rest for her feet. Noah waits seven more days, and then sends the dove again. This time the dove comes back in the evening time and carries an olive leaf in its beak. At this moment, Noah knows that the water was drained from the earth.

When we look at the dove and the crow as symbols, what do we see? The crow symbolizes a bit of a selfish attitude: once he found his way he was gone. The dove, by nature, behaves differently, just like the mailing pigeon it has a natural tendency to return home. The dove that comes back to the ark symbolizes our human desire to return home.

The dove brings an olive leaf in its mouth saying, “The heart is like homing pigeon always finding its way home to illuminate”.

Shana Tova שָׁנָה טוֹבָה

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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