One of the unkosher birds listed in Parshas Shemini (11:19) is the “Chasida”, the stork. Rashi says that it is called Chasida from the word “Chosid”, pious. Why, Rashi says the reason is that the stork does Chesed with its friends and it shares its food source rather than hoard it for itself. When it comes to the mouse however, the Yerushalmi (Bava Metzia 3:5) describes it as a “Rasha” because it not only eats the homeowner’s food it also calls its friends to eat.

Why the unbalanced treatment between the two of these generous creatures? Rav Chaim Kanievsky answers that the Chasida’s food comes from Hefker it is not taking from anyone else.

However the mouse steals his food from people’s homes. Robin hood may have only been trying to help the poor, but he went about it the wrong way. Reb Chaim says that from here we learn an important lesson.

If you do Chesed on someone else’s expense you aren’t a chossid of a man; your are a wicked mouse.

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