"Illogical" commandments. Weekly Torah "Begar"

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By Nachum Purer on 05.02.2018 Weekly, Traditions

Jewish commandments are divided, as you know, into two categories: "bein adam la-poppy" defining human behavior in relation to God, and "bein adam le-Haveri," principles of relations between people, which often is referred to the so-called " universal values. " Humanism Torah lies in the fact that the mitzvot "bein adam le-Haver" are an integral part of its spiritual heritage. Torah is not only calls us to love our neighbor and to respect him, to do no harm to him or his property, not to kill, not to steal and not to force, not only does it require to assist him actions and money to ensure his needs, to provide him with interest-free loans, but also includes the everyday basics principles of religious faith.

That's why one of the two tablets obtained Moses on Mount Sinai, recorded Jewish duties to Gd ( "I - Gd," "You shall have no other gods," "Remember the Sabbath day" and others.) and on the other - duties to the people ( "You shall not murder," "Do not commit adultery," "Thou shalt not steal" ...). By analyzing the known Torah commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" (according to Rabbi Akiva, it means: "Do not do to others what is hateful to you"), we see the importance attached to this category of commandments. One who helps his neighbor, and trying not to cause him damage, sanctify themselves, no less (and perhaps more) than when he reads the prayer "Shema Yisrael", to put on tefillin or elevates the lulav on Sukkot holiday.

In fact, these two groups of commandments are inextricably linked. counting of the Omer period, which we are now, to give a clear historical evidence. According to tradition, about two thousand years ago, the period between Pesach and Shavuot was overshadowed by a tragic event: dead 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva. They were punished for something that does not show respect to each other. Preparing with great enthusiasm for the anniversary of the Giving of the Torah, the grand event marked by a unique "date" with the Creator, they seem to forget about their everyday responsibilities to the people. The disciples of Rabbi Akiva, B-goboyaznennye people and unrivaled Torah scholars, behave like a man who wanted to come early to the synagogue on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, to read the "Selichot", special penitential prayers. He jumped out of bed at four o'clock in the morning, knocked over a chair in the dark, dropped the kettle on the kitchen roughly shook the sleeping son shouting: "Hurry Up, time to read selichot!" and rushed out, slamming the door. As a result, he woke his wife, children and neighbors, stolen from them the sweetest predawn hours of sleep. He should have stayed in bed and did not have to worry. Those who show zeal in the service of Gd, without attaching importance to the needs of others, their rest and health, their financial status and emotional balance, crosses the forbidden line: he performs the mitzvah through sin. As a result, it becomes invalid mitzvah, but your sin remains.

"Schmidt" and "Yovel" - a classic example of the commandments that govern human relations and Gd. It is no accident the Torah calls them "Shabbat." Like the seventh day of rest, and in contrast to the "social" laws "Schmidt" and "Yovel" can not be an exhaustive logical analysis. We carry them just because so tells the Torah. The main task of the "seventh" and "fiftieth" of the year - to remind us that we are not, and Gd - the true owner of the land, and our duty is to work on it for a given them a schedule, as stated in the same section " begar ":" For the land is mine; You are strangers and sojourners with me "(25:23). But the name of the law "Shmita" and "Yovel" become a springboard for the "launch" a series of "interpersonal" commandments commanded not to cheat, not to use the advantage of the financial difficulties neighbor to lend without interest, not to exploit the servants - all these mitzvot so or otherwise associated with the cycles of agricultural work.

Remedy for bankruptcy

"And Gd spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai:" ... the land keep a sabbath of Gd "(25: 2). A little more than thirty years ago, the Israeli national airline "El Al" was going through difficult times. She catastrophically fast losing passengers and with them profit. It was at this time, the government, led by Menachem Begin, decided that the passenger aircraft of the Jewish state should not fly on Shabbat: Friday flights from abroad must be completed in Israel before the sun, and all the ups Saturday to cancel.

What happened as a result? Contrary to a simple economic logic, "El-Al" quickly transformed from hopelessly loss-making one of the most profitable airlines in the world. You can call it paradoxical coincidence or a grimace of destiny. In fact, can we expect to succeed if, instead of seven days, work only six? On the contrary, rejection of the Saturday traffic promised the Israelites lost at least seven of the profits, but certainly not growth.

But in "Begar" Gd promises the opposite. Urging Jews to observe laws "Shmita" stop farm work every seventh year, he hastens to reassure them: "And if you say, what do we eat in the seventh year, when we will neither sow, nor gather in our crops? (You should know :) I will send you my blessing in the sixth year, and it takes a crop for three years ... "(25: 20-21).

We live in a world of illusions, one of which teaches: the more work the more you earn. But why, then, the most diligent and hard-working is not always the richest? And why in the Soviet Union with almost full employment, and a minimal amount of holidays and weekends (remember the Sabbath was changed there Subbotniks and Sunday Sundays - of course, "at the request of the workers") the economy is falling apart, and, for example, in Italy, in spite of the endless "Italian strike" - flourished?

The Torah tells us the answer to this strange phenomenon. Work, of course, necessary, and desirable shock. But the outcome of any labor defines Gd. He wants to show who is in the world landlord and directly tells us: "If you keep My laws set forth in the Torah, I will reward you, not only spiritual benefits but material abundance." From us just need to believe in Him. Demonstrating that faith, or rather trust in him, we stop on Friday all activities are interrupted its participation in the cockroach races for the mirage of success and go into the world of spirituality, family warmth, a pleasant chat with friends and God - in short, approaching that the true purpose for which our physical world was created.

The commandment "Shmita" means the following. In Eretz Israel every seventh year is considered like a Saturday Sabbath in the week. (By the way, here is where the term "Shabbaton" sabbatical provided for the year to scientists and teachers.) In the year of "Shmita" are not allowed to sow and reap. Earth rests in your Sabbath. But this is not a physical "rest". Ask any expert on soil fertility, and he will tell you that a six-year cycle of cultivation with an annual break will not increase the yield. Quite the contrary. "Schmitt" - is not physical, but spiritual law, the secret of which is known only to Gd. See "Begar" starts very unusual: "And Gd spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai ...". But all the commandments were given on Mount Sinai. Why did the Torah allocates exactly the commandment "Shmita"?

Sabbath for the people and the Sabbath for the land - are two related concepts, based on the general principle: our relationship with God should be based on an understanding of the indisputable fact that He, and He alone, turns the wheels of our lives, both personal and business ...

Not all workers "El Al" then figured out what was happening. Despite the growth of the company's profits, they complained that the Sabbath rest limits their income, and the blame for this religious "blackmailers". Some still believe the money forgone due to the cancellation of Saturday's flights. Recently, the management of "El Al" was trying to resume these flights, but "blackmailers" threatened to boycott and had to restore the status quo. Over the past twenty years, the share of "blackmail" has increased significantly among the passengers. Who pays the piper dictates the terms.