I’m changing some details to avoid identifying anyone.
On local social media, someone posted that their children witnessed a group of yeshiva boys chasing a bird. They claimed the boys were hitting the bird with a stick.
A long angry thread evolved, about how cruel and awful this behavior was, how police would be called, etc. One commenter stated that he would have taken his baseball bat over there.
A fellow Jew chimed into the thread and explained that the boys were attempting the mitzvah of shiluach haken, and that they were not going to harm the bird or the eggs.
Now, as a normative American suburbanite, and a Jew of modest education and mixed observance… I personally would never chase a mother bird away from her nest, unless I was going to take the eggs. I never run into this scenario because I get my eggs at the grocery store.
The boys probably weren’t thinking about how non-Jews or non-Orthodox Jews would see their actions.
Assuming they weren’t actually hitting the bird, I think it was a dumb way to earn a mitzvah. If they were hitting the bird, I’m not sure they should get a mitzvah out of it.
submitted by /u/BloodDonorMI