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July 22, 2022

Egg Prices Through the Roof (Pinchas)

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because egg prices were cheaper on the other side. If you didn’t laugh, that’s ok, it was meant to make you cringe.

There has been a recent surge in egg prices, primarily due to a major bird flu outbreak (avian flu) that began in January which has killed about 30 million commercial and wild birds. In May of 2022, an article on Axios reported, “Egg prices could soar as much as 21% this year.” Just this week, on July 20th, Matzav.com reported, “EGG PRICES THROUGH THE ROOF: Top Egg Producer Says Supply is Tight Even as Bird Flu Slows.”

My friends, nothing is a coincidence. Even the increase in egg prices? Correct, even the increase in egg prices! I find it ironic that the percentage amount according to Axios’s report about eggs was specifically “21%.” Even more, I find it ironic that we are seeing these headlines about the increase in egg prices specifically right now, during the period of the Three Weeks.

If you do the math, it so happens that the number of days in the Three Weeks is 21 days! But what’s even more spooky and incredible, is that there is a direct connection and correlation between eggs and the Three Weeks, and perhaps, Hashem – in a subtle way – is hinting to us that we have to increase our awareness of eggs during this time period. Allow me to explain.

The great Tzaddik, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev (see Sefer Likutei Halachos, Yoreh De’ah, Laws of Eggs 5:1-5:6) says something absolutely incredible. He says that the incubation period for an egg to hatch is 21 days, which corresponds to the 21-day mourning period of the Three Weeks!

If you look at an egg, it is completely closed. It looks like there is no way for anything inside to possibly come out. But sure enough, if the incubation process has the right conditions, the egg will hatch and the little breathing chick will valiantly emerge.

My friends, we are in galus, in exile (or maybe I should say eggsile). It looks almost as if there is no end. It looks like we are in a place that is closed and impossible to come out from. But we learn from the egg that: We can and we will emerge. We will come out of this exile alive.

On a deeper level, though, Rebbe Nachman explains that we need both aspects – we need the struggle and hardships of galus, and then we will truly be able to experience the freedom and emergence of geulah: וְעַל-כֵּן הַלּוּז וְהַבֵּיצָה שֶׁמְּרַמְּזִין עַל עִקַּר הַנֶּחָמָה, עַל-כֵּן הֵם דַּיְקָא נִגְמָרִים בְּעֶשְֹרִים וְאֶחָד יוֹם, שֶׁמְּרַמֵּז עַל הָאֲבֵלוּת שֶׁל בֵּין הַמְּצָרִים, לְהוֹרוֹת כָּל הַנַּ"ל, שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָבוֹא אֶל הַנֶּחָמָה כִּי אִם עַל-יְדֵי אֲבֵלוּת וְצַעַר

When the Jewish people were at a moment of hardship, a moment of tremendous “galus,” a moment where they were lost as to what to do, it was Pinchas who stood up and emerged. He cracked the egg, escaped that state of loss and brought a certain level of נחמה and hope to the Jewish people. He was zocheh to become Eliyahu Hanavi for his incredible actions, and one day – may it be soon – he will come back and knock on our egg shells, and tell us, “Let’s go. It’s time. Break open this shell. Emerge. The Beis Hamikdash is here. No more waiting and hoping. Now it’s time to celebrate.”