Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us that we cannot assume that a dove will return to its coop if it does not have a line of sight, even if it is within 50 amos. Thus, even a close-by coop that was around the corner, would not attract the Dove back to its nest.
The language of this Gemara is too redolent of derash to be ignored. The Ishbitzer (Beis Yaakov Vayechi 26), citing this Gemara, compares the dove to a Tzaddik, and says that a Tzaddik cannot break his “line of sight” with a mitzvah that is tied to his Neshama, and thus must martyr himself even if it isn’t from the three sins that all must give their life for. He says every Jew has one mitzvah that is somehow tied deep to his neshama.
He also quotes the story about Rabbi Akiva who was willing to give up his life for a rabbinic mitzvah of washing hands (Eruvin 21b). It is also known that the Klausenberger Rebbe kept mitzvah observance even in Auschwitz, even regarding matters that would be permitted under extreme duress, let alone life-threatening conditions. For example, he would not touch Unkosher food nor use utensils that were not kosher, and even fasted on Tisha B’Av despite enduring a 21 mile death March. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yekusiel_Yehudah_Halberstam . Was this idea the source of his heter to behave in this manner, or did it come from some deeper instinct?
In any case, it is a fascinating thought that every Jew has one mitzvah that is especially connected to his soul. How would you go about discovering what that is?
Translations Courtesy of Sefaria