Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dvar Torah - Parashat Mishpatim - Rav Amiad

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  1. Dvar Torah - Parashat Mishpatim - Rav Amiad

    "אם כסף תלווה את עמי את העני עמך לא תהיה לא כנושה..." (שמות כב, כד)

    "When/if you lend money to my people, to the poor person [who is] amongst you, you shall not behave toward him as a lender..." (Shemot 22:24)

    Rabbi Yishmael says in a Midrash that every time the word "אם" appears in the Torah it means something which is optional rather than obligatory, except for three times. This is one of those. If so, why did the Torah choose the word "אם" which means if?

    The Orach Chaim explains that if a man does not have enough money, it is to punish him for some evil. Then, why would a person have more money than he needs? He answers that this is so he can give it to others in an unrespectable way.

    Sometimes, Hashem rewards a person's merits by sending him his needs in a respectable way. Other times a person is punished and receives his needs in a less honorable way. Therefore, if you have money it is for the purpose of supporting others who do not have enough.

    That is why the Torah uses the word "if": if you have money, then lend it to my people. The word if does not refer to the act of lending, it refers to having money. May we merit to be givers of Tzedaka and not the recipients.