The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

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Friday, August 17

The Weekly Shtikle - Re'eih

I am proud to introduce a new installment in the Weekly Shtikle Blog Family. I have attempted to keep up with the new cycle of Daf Yomi and along with it, publish a blog of my thoughts on the daily daf. I wanted to give it a little while to make sure I stick with it and now I am ready to unveil ... The Daily Leaf. Please check it out, read, enjoy, subscribe and comment.
    This week's parsha presents the contradiction of the following two pesukim. First we are told (15:4) that with the proper fulfillment of the laws of shemitah as they pertain to loans "there will not be any needy among you." In the very same perek we are told (pasuk 11) "For the needy shall never cease from within the land." Rashi explains homiletically from the Midrash (Sifrei Piska 114) that when we are performing HaShem's will, the needy will be among others and not among us. But when we are not performing HaShem's will, there will be needy among us.

    On a more simple level, however, perhaps the contradiction may be reconciled as follows: The first pasuk is indeed giving us an assurance that with the proper performance of the laws of shemitah, poverty will be wiped out from the community. The second pasuk, however, is stated regarding the mitzvah of tzedakah. It is not a prediction of the future. Rather, the Torah is giving us a reason why charity is always necessary. You should never say "someone else will take care of him, he'll make it somehow." The Torah is teaching us a lesson that the poor will never cease to be on their own. In order to tackle poverty, you must take the initiative and give tzedakah and never rely on someone else to do the job.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
AstroTorah: Even the Sages Had Difficulty Pronouncing "Ch" by R' Ari Storch
Daily Leaf: All of your Days

Note: I do not plan to list all Daily Leaf posts here. There will too many (hopefully.) I will, however, post those which pertain to the parsha, what I call on Daily Leaf a "פרשה Bonus."

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