Thought for Shabbat August 24, 2018

  • With Rabbi Steinberg

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze, the text gives us clear direction for doing right by our neighbor.

Deuteronomy Chapter 22

1.You shall not see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, and ignore them. [Rather,] you shall return them to your brother.

2.But if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, you shall bring it into your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seeks it out, whereupon you shall return it to him.

3.So shall you do with his donkey, and so shall you do with his garment, and so shall you do with any lost article of your brother which he has lost and you have found. You shall not remain indifferent.

The High Holy Days are rapidly approaching.  If the Holy Days teach us anything, it is about our responsibility to one another.  Yes, the Holy Days teach us about “self-reflection.” But even more, the Days of Awe inspire us to be laser focused on our relationships with one another.  The text says, “You shall not remain indifferent.”  For us to grow as individuals, we need to focus on how we treat each other and how we take care of another’s soul just as we would want done unto us.  We shall not remain indifferent towards one another.  It is as simple as that.