By Rabbi David Cohen
He was like an eagle arousing its nest, hovering over its young, spreading its wings and taking them, carrying them on its wings. (32:11)
In describing Hashem’s relationship with Klal Yisrael, the Torah uses the simile of an eagle. The eagle demonstrates incredible compassion for its young. It does not suddenly enter its nest, but rather, stirs the nest up, then spreads its wings – not under, but – above its nestlings, so that they fly up to rest on the mother’s outspread wings awaiting them above. The eaglets, however, must make the first move, explains Horav S. R. Hirsch, zl. Their mother waits for them, but they must bravely and consciously make the decision to leave the safety and security of their nest and fly up by themselves.
So, too, does Hashem first awake His People during these Yomim Noarim and gets them used to having the courage to trust themselves with the free-willed decision and place themselves under His guidance. Hashem calls to us to come to Him, but we must be prepared to leave the nest.