Can we really say (or sing): “I never saw a righteous person who was forsaken and whose progeny didn’t have enough to eat.” Short D’var Torah - Parshat Ki Teitzei

Aug 17, 2013 in 4. Hebrew Language Gems & Torah Insights, Blog | 0 comments

At the end of Birkat HaMazon, we are usually too much in a rush (or too tired) to concentrate on the weighty question that emerges from the penultimate verse from Psalm 37, in which King David declares: “Both when I was young and when I became older, I never saw a righteous person who was forsaken and whose progeny didn’t have enough to eat.”

Can we really proclaim this sentence with all honesty, bearing in mind the reality on the ground - in Israel and overseas? Can we honestly say (usually sing), hand-on-heart, that we never see righteous people neglected and without enough food to eat?

In our parsha (Devarim 22:1), we read: “You shall not SEE your fellow’s ox or sheep stranded and ignore them; you shall surely return them to your fellow.”

In other words, the Torah is intimating to us - when you see an injustice in the world, don’t just ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist; rather, do something about it! Do a good deed and return your fellow’s lost property. Give the righteous food - or better still sit them down and discuss their situation, along with a drink and a smile, to make them feel wanted and inspired to consider and explore new and more creative avenues for employment opportunities etc.

Each of us should be a Jewish Bob Geldof (each in his or her own way), who responded to a BBC news report in 1984 about the famine in Ethiopia by mobilizing the pop world to do something about the images he had seen.

May we all be written and inscribed in the Book of Life!

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