This week's Torah Portion deals with Business law, and through it we see how far reaching the Torah's teachings are. If we follow the Torah, there is a guiding light for everything.
One particular scenario discussed is a case where one sees an animal collapsing from the load on its back, and this animal belongs to your enemy. The Torah says that you must put aside your feelings and help him.
Commentators explain that even if after helping this animal and person, one will go back to hating the person, one must still offer help.
We learn from this the tremendous ability we have to sometimes "turn the switch" and rise to the occasion when we need to and not use negative feelings as an excuse not to.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
If last week's Torah portion was one of the most exciting episodes in history, this week's parsha contains the ultimate event in world history: G-d's revelation to the Jewish people at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Amidst the description of this cataclysmal event, G-d says, "And you shall be my treasure among the nations, for the entire world is Mine." Rashi comments on these seemingly superfluous words; we know there are many nations in the world and all belong to G-d!
Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz understands that Rashi is explaining that the Jewish people already had a relationship with G-d, and on some level, they may not have fully realized and appreciated what was happening. So, G-d is making a point to state the obvious.
This may seem surprising, but it brings out a very common human phenomenon. We often take situations, and especially people, for granted. With a spouse, a person can forget that there was a world from which to choose and the spouse chose that person. Or with a job that a person has held for years, the boss chose that person and continues to supply him with a job.
G-d never wants us to forget the deep love He has for us; this is something to cherish and to live up to as we again experience becoming "the chosen nation."
Have a great Shabbos!
Rabbi Naftali Karp
Every week Rabbi Karp sends out thoughts about the weekly Torah portion. Enjoy!