Friday, August 11, 2023

Re'eh - Reading #6

Re'eh רְאֵה - See!
Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 15:1–18

My Thoughts:


Fairness in slavery? That seems odd to us today. Slavery the way Hashem describes it - is far from what has happened in Europe and America and the atrocities they inflicted upon others. What Hashem is saying is that at the end of seven years a slave has a choice to stay or leave. What we need to think about is that the slave was probably bought because he/she was in poverty. It was like securing a live-in job. I’m sure there were difficult and harsh task masters, but that is where Hashem is telling His people to treat people fairly. And give the slaves an opportunity to go free after seven years. I wonder how many slaves were treated so fairly that they decided to stay on permanently. When we are following Hashem’s commands to love Him and to love others, the world literally changes.


In verse 4 Hashem is telling us that if we follow Him in all ways, He will bless the land so much that there will be no poor in it. That people will take care of people. Unfortunately that is not true today. We have poor and starving people across our world. But the Torah has the remedy and it is outlined in today’s portion. It’s about taking care of each other - feeding, hiring for help, sharing and loving. Sure there must have been people who took advantage of this situation, from both sides. But Hashem does have the perfect plan for a “whole” and “healthy” world. Today’s challenge is to see how you can help the poor in your community. And how you can make the world a better place -- by following Torah’s directions. Amen.

Reading #6 - Deuteronomy 15:1–18

15:1 At the end of every seven years, you shall cancel debts. 2 This is the way it shall be done: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not require payment from his neighbor and his brother, because Hashem’s release has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may require it; but whatever of yours is with your brother, your hand shall release. 4 However there will be no poor with you (for Hashem will surely bless you in the land which Hashem your Elohim gives you for an inheritance to possess) 5 if only you diligently listen to Hashem your Elohim’s voice, to observe to do all this commandment which I command you today. 6 For Hashem your Elohim will bless you, as He promised you. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. You will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. 7 If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you within any of your gates in your land which Hashem your Elohim gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, which he lacks. 9 Beware that there not be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,” and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing; and he cry to Hashem against you, and it be sin to you. 10 You shall surely give, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because it is for this thing Hashem your Elohim will bless you in all your work and in all that you put your hand to. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land. Therefore I command you to surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land. 12 If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 When you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your wine press. As Hashem your Elohim has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Hashem your Elohim redeemed you. Therefore I command you this thing today. 16 It shall be, if he tells you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for he has been double the value of a hired hand as he served you six years. Hashem your Elohim will bless you in all that you do.