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  • Из-за Денег или Бахри Пуль

    Шмуэль Катанов

    В Книге Деварим 21:1-2 говорится:
    וְיָצְא֥וּ זְקֵנֶ֖יךָ וְשֹׁפְטֶ֑יךָ וּמָדְדוּ֙ אֶל־הֶ֣עָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר סְבִיבֹ֥ת הֶחָלָֽל׃ כִּי־יִמָּצֵ֣א חָלָ֗ל בָּאֲדָמָה֙ אֲשֶׁר֩ הי אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ נֹתֵ֤ן לְךָ֙ לְרִשְׁתָּ֔הּ נֹפֵ֖ל בַּשָּׂדֶ֑ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖ע מִ֥י הִכָּֽהוּ׃

    "На земле которую даст вам Г-сподь, если вы найдёте тело которое лежит в открытом поле, и вы не знаете кто убийца, то старейшины города должны выйти и определить к какому городу тело лежит ближе, и значит тот город является виноватым в убийстве этого человека."

    Почему Тора считает город виноватым в смерти этого человека?

    Чтоб ответить на этот вопрос, давайте посмотрим что произошло с этим человеком.

    Чужеземец пришел в город, и чтоб найти себе на пропитание пошёл на базар. Проходя по базару, прося милостыню у прохожих и заходя в лавки к торговцам, он не получил от них не единого гроша, куска хлеба или глотка воды.

    Уставший от скитаний, проголодавшись и утомлённый жаждой, он вспомнил что по дороге в этот город он проходил по полю которое находилось между двумя городами, и он решил собраться с последними силами и пойти в соседний город с надеждой получить там свой кусок хлеба.

    Как говорится в произведении Ильяс Малаева, песня исполненая Авраам Толмасовым - Бахри Пуль:

    Пуль набошад дар барат ҳеч кас намедиҳат салом,
    На ки меҳмон дўстию, на ҳурмату на иҳтиром.
    На зиёфат, на муроат, на ки чою на таон,
    Доимо бар по шавад хар мудаҳо аз баҳри пуль.

    И вот он в пути в другой город за куском хлеба. Иссякая силами, уставший и голодный, еле еле он плетётся в другой город, но не дойдя до цели, он падает и умирает на пол-пути в поле.

    Таҳтау тову пулю, гўру қафан ҳам пуль бидон,
    Мўрдашою, сангу гўрков пуль ба хайри мумкирон
    Гар бират гар пуль на бошад вахти мурдан ногахон
    Мурда дар коча монат бе нигоҳ аз баҳри пуль.

    И вот его тело лежит в поле и его находит другой прохожий, проходивший мимо, зовёт старейшин чтоб те позаботились об умершем.

    Закон гласит - что старейшины должны измерить расстояние от тела до ближе лежащего к нему города. И тот город к которому тело ближе находится, старейшины должны оповестить его о том что они всецело виноваты и на них кровь этого человека. Тогда старейшины из которого вышел этот бедняк, приводят с собой молодого телёнка который в первом году жизни и которого хозяин ещё не эксплуатировал. Они ломают шею телёнка топором, моют над ним руки провозглашая - "Прости нас странник, что мы не знали что ты был в нашем городе, что ты нуждался, и хотел есть и пить, и прости нашу молодёжь которая была на рынке и к которой ты подошёл, но они не ответили на твой зов и не услышали твой крик о помощи и не помогли тебе. Если бы мы знали что ты в городе и видели бы тебя, то конечно мы помогли бы тебе, накормили и напоили бы тебя, и дали бы в дорогу денег. Пожалуйста прости нас, наших детей и всех жителей нашего города." Только проделав этот обряд, Тора говорит что душа умершего находит покой и это будет правильно в глазах Г-спода и этот акт уберёт вину от людей всего города, как сказано в Деварим 21:1-9.

    Господа - на нас лежит ответственность за наших стариков и тех семей нуждающихся в материальной помощи. Мудрецы уже дали нам самые оптимальные способы как это сделать. Человеку нужна работа - помогите ему устроиться на работу - сделав пару звонков и став его гарантом, кто-то хочет открыть своё дело но не имеет достаточно средств - станьте его партнёром и наставником в этом деле, семьям не хватает с пропитанием - помогите и там.


    Велика заслуга человека который помогает но не знает кто получит его добро, а те в свою очередь принимают но не знают от кого оно. Этим сохраняя достоинство  и не унижая честь человека которым необходима помощь. Любая оказанная помощь, возвращается дающему и его потомству многократно. И награда этой мицвы гарантированна самим Вс-вышним и Он призывает нас испытать Его в этом.

    Тарифи о шаҳси пуль дорки саховат пешашу, 
    Мехриҳуд дар мардумон, доду худаш диль реша шуд.
    Маст нагашту соҳиби хоксорию андеша шуд
    Дон ки у гаш одами ақли разо аз баҳри пуль.

    Дўсти жони, дўсти пуль, ҳеч ваҳт на гардад дар жаҳон
    Фарқи досту, фарқи пульро аз ҳама афзаль бидон.
    Сер шавад ин сози оби қатраю як бурда нон
    Баҳри ин Ильёс бегўяд - ҳар ҳато аз баҳри пуль.


    Шаббат Шалом,


    Шмуэль Катанов

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  • Loving the Stranger

    by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (...and commentaries from the editor)

    There are commands that leap off the page by their sheer moral power. So it is in the case of the social legislation in Mishpatim. Amid the complex laws relating to the treatment of slaves, personal injury and property, one command in particular stands out, by virtue of its repetition (it appears twice in our parsha), and the historical-psychological reasoning that lies behind it:

    Do not ill-treat a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in Egypt. (Exodus 22:20)
    Do not oppress a stranger; you yourselves know how it feels to be a stranger [literally, “you know the soul of a stranger”], because you were strangers in Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)

    Mishpatim contains many laws of social justice – against taking advantage of a widow or orphan, for example, or charging interest on a loan to a fellow member of the covenantal community, against bribery and injustice, and so on. The first and last of these laws, however, is the repeated command against harming a ger, a “stranger.” Clearly something fundamental is at stake in the Torah’s vision of a just and gracious social order.

    If a person was a son of proselytes, one must not taunt him by saying, “Remember the deeds of your ancestors,” because it is written “Do not ill-treat a stranger or oppress him.”

    The Sages noted the repeated emphasis on the stranger in biblical law. According to Rabbi Eliezer, the Torah “warns against the wronging of a ger in thirty-six places; others say, in forty-six places.”[1]

    Whatever the precise number, the repetition throughout the Mosaic books is remarkable. Sometimes the stranger is mentioned along with the poor; at others, with the widow and orphan. On several occassions the Torah specifies: “You shall have the same law for the stranger as for the native-born.”[2] Not only must the stranger not be wronged; he or she must be included in the positive welfare provisions of Israelite/ Jewish society. But the law goes beyond this; the stranger must be loved:

    When a stranger lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The stranger living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were strangers in Egypt. I am the Lord your G-d. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

    This provision appears in the same chapter as the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). Later, in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses makes it clear that this is the attribute of G-d Himself:

    “For the Lord your G-d is G-d of gods and Lord of lords, the great G-d, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are strangers, for you yourselves were strangers in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10 17-19)

    What is the logic of the command? The most profound commentary is that given by Nachmanides:

    The correct interpretation appears to me to be that He is saying: do not wrong a stranger or oppress him, thinking as you might that none can deliver him out of your hand; for you know that you were strangers in the land of Egypt and I saw the oppression with which the Egyptian oppressed you, and I avenged your cause on them, because I behold the tears of such who are oppressed and have no comforter…Likewise you shall not afflict the widow and the orphan for I will hear their cry, for all these people do not rely upon themselves but trust in Me.

    And in another verse he added this reason: for you know what it feels like to be a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt. That is to say, you know that every stranger feels depressed, and is always sighing and crying, and his eyes are always directed towards G-d, therefore He will have mercy upon him even as He showed mercy to you [and likewise He has mercy on all who are oppressed].[3]

    According to Nachmanides the command has two dimensions. The first is the relative powerlessness of the stranger. He or she is not surrounded by family, friends, neighbors, a community of those ready to come to their defense. Therefore the Torah warns against wronging them because G-d has made Himself protector of those who have no one else to protect them. This is the political dimension of the command. The second reason, as we have already noted, is the psychological vulnerability of the stranger (we recall Moses’ own words at the birth of his first son, while he was living among the Midianites: “I am a stranger in a strange land,” Exodus 2:22). The stranger is one who lives outside the normal securities of home and belonging. He or she is, or feels, alone – and, throughout the Torah, G-d is especially sensitive to the sigh of the oppressed, the feelings of the rejected, the cry of the unheard. That is the emotive dimension of the command.

    Rabbi Chayim ibn Attar (Ohr HaChayim) adds a further fascinating insight. It may be, he says, that the very sanctity that Israelites feel as children of the covenant may lead them to look down on those who lack a similar lineage. Therefore they are commanded not to feel superior to the ger, but instead to remember the degradation their ancestors experienced in Egypt.[4] As such, it becomes a command of humility in the face of strangers.

    Whichever way we look at it, there is something striking about this almost endlessly iterated concern for the stranger – together with the historical reminder that “you yourselves were slaves in Egypt.” It is as if, in this series of laws, we are nearing the core of the mystery of Jewish existence itself. What is the Torah implying?

    Concern for social justice was not unique to Israel.[5] What we sense, however, throughout the early biblical narrative, is the lack of basic rights to which outsiders could appeal. Not by accident is the fate of Sodom and the cities of the plain sealed when they attempt to assault Lot’s two visitors. Nor can we fail to feel the risk to which Abraham and Isaac believe they are exposed when they are forced to leave home and take refuge in Egypt or the land of the Philistines. In each of the three episodes (Genesis chapters 12, 20, 26) they are convinced that their lives are at stake; that they may be murdered so that their wives can be taken into the royal harem.

    There are also repeated implications, in the course of the Joseph story, that in Egypt, Israelites were regarded as pariahs (the word “Hebrew,” like the term hapiru found in the non-Israelite literature of the period, seems to have a strong negative connotation). One verse in particular – when the brothers visit Joseph a second time – indicates the distaste with which they were regarded:

    They served him [ Joseph] by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. (Genesis 43:32)

    So it was, in the ancient world. Hatred of the foreigner is the oldest of passions, going back to tribalism and the prehistory of civilization. The Greeks called strangers “barbarians” because of their (as it seemed to them) outlandish speech that sounded like the bleating of sheep.[6] The Romans were equally dismissive of non-Hellenistic races. The pages of history are stained with blood spilled in the name of racial or ethnic conflict. It was precisely this to which the Enlightenment, the new “age of reason,” promised an end. It did not happen. In 1789, in revolutionary France, as the Rights of Man were being pronounced, riots broke out against the Jewish community in Alsace. Hatred against English and German immigrant workers persisted throughout the nineteenth century. In 1881 in Marseilles a crowd of ten thousand went on a rampage attacking Italians and their property. Dislike of the unlike is as old as mankind. This fact lies at the very heart of the Jewish experience. It is no coincidence that Judaism was born in two journeys away from the two greatest civilizations of the ancient world: Abraham’s from Mesopotamia, Moses’ and the Israelites’ from Pharaonic Egypt. The Torah is the world’s great protest against empires and imperialism. There are many dimensions to this protest. One dimension is the protest against the attempt to justify social hierarchy and the absolute power of rulers in the name of religion. Another is the subordination of the masses to the state – epitomized by the vast building projects, first of Babel, then of Egypt, and the enslavement they entailed. A third is the brutality of nations in the course of war (the subject of Amos’ oracles against the nations). Undoubtedly, though, the most serious offense – for the prophets as well as the Mosaic books – was the use of power against the powerless: the widow, the orphan and, above all, the stranger.

    To be a Jew is to be a stranger. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this was why Abraham was commanded to leave his land, home and father’s house; why, long before Joseph was born, Abraham was already told that his descendants would be strangers in a land not their own; why Moses had to suffer personal exile before assuming leadership of the people; why the Israelites underwent persecution before inheriting their own land; and why the Torah is so insistent that this experience – the retelling of the story on Passover, along with the never-forgotten taste of the bread of affliction and the bitter herbs of slavery – should become a permanent part of their collective memory.

    It is terrifying in retrospect to grasp how seriously the Torah took the phenomenon of xenophobia, hatred of the stranger. It is as if the Torah were saying with the utmost clarity: the reason is insufficient. Sympathy is inadequate. Only the force of history and memory is strong enough to form a counterweight to hate.

    The Torah asks, why should you not hate the stranger? Because you once stood where he stands now. You know the heart of the stranger because you were once a stranger in the land of Egypt. If you are human, so is he. If he is less than human, so are you. You must fight the hatred in your heart as I once fought the greatest ruler and the strongest empire in the ancient world on your behalf. I made you into the world’s archetypal strangers so that you would fight for the rights of strangers – for your own and those of others, wherever they are, whoever they are, whatever the color of their skin or the nature of their culture, because though they are not in your image, says G-d, they are nonetheless in Mine. There is only one reply strong enough to answer the question: Why should I not hate the stranger? Because the stranger is me.

    Shabbat Shalom,

    Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
    Source

    - - - 

    Shemot 22:20: וְגֵ֥ר לֹא־תוֹנֶ֖ה וְלֹ֣א תִלְחָצֶ֑נּוּ כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃
    And a stranger [from another land] you shall not taunt and you shall not oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt [and you are equally vulnerable to taunting].
     
    Rabbeinu Bachiya said on this verse the following:
    [ "The Torah writes many times about the need to treat a stranger fairly - seeing that he is alone in a country in which he has no roots, no family who could protect him. The word גר for a stranger is derived from גרגיר, an isolated berry at the far end of a solitary branch.  
     
    People have a habit of insulting, accusing and belittling the strangers. As a result of it G-d warns us not to think that such a stranger has no one who takes up his complaints. The Lord Himself will fight his fight for him. The Torah reminds us that we of all people should have empathy for strangers, seeing we had been taken advantage of in Egypt because we were strangers. G-d implies that just as He took pity on us as we had no one else to turn to, He will do the same for such strangers if the need arises. Interestingly, the Torah (23,9) did not write אתם ידעתם את הגר, but it wrote ואתם ידעתם את נפש הגר. “you know the soul (the feelings) of a stranger,” You are aware that every stranger has low self-esteem, and he has no one to turn to except Me.” ]  
     
    Today the immigrants living in our local communities are the strangers amongst the locals. And G-d promises to get involved where locals go against the strangers in their own communities.
     
    But how do we turn things around?! I recall a story told by my grandmother ז״ל, that happened with my paternal great-grandfather זצ״ל. In the early 1940s before Germany invaded Soviet Union or even later when the war has already started, thousands of people emigrated from Eastern Europe to Uzbekistan cities like Bukhara, Samarkand, and many others places. My great-grandfather had a big property and together with my grandfather hosted several families from Poland and other places. Some of the people that came were hasidim and were dressed in their traditional attire. They have stayed throughout the war and when it was over they emigrated to USA and other countries. My great-grandfather along with my grandfather learned Talmud and other holy books together with them. The people that came were strangers in the land amongst the locals, and the locals were there are for them, helping them and guiding them in the new country to make it through the war. And this was done not only by our family, but by many families throughout the region. Years later we are here in the USA and now we are strangers in this land amongst the locals. And as they say - every generation is presented with the opportunity to practice this great mitzvah as mentioned in this week's parsha.
     
    Shmuel Katanov



    [1] Bava Metzia 59b.
    [2] Exodus 12:49; Leviticus 24:22; Numbers 15:16, 29.
    [3] Ramban, commentary to Exodus 22:22.
    [4] Ohr HaĤayim, commentary to Exodus 22:20.
    [5] See Moshe Weinfeld, Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1995).
    [6] The verb barbarízein in ancient Greek meant imitating the linguistic sounds non-Greeks made, or making grammatical errors in Greek.


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  • The Life on Autopilot

    Shmuel Katanov

    As you already know, Moshe Rabbeinu grew up in the palace of Pharaoh and one day he has decided to go out and see the world outside of the palace. As he was taking a tour around the city, he saw all the hardships and bitterness his people had to go through in their everyday life. Suddenly he came across this scene - he saw how an Egyptian guard was beating a Jewish slave.

    In Shemot 2:12 says:
    וַיִּ֤פֶן כֹּה֙ וָכֹ֔ה וַיַּ֖רְא כִּ֣י אֵ֣ין אִ֑ישׁ וַיַּךְ֙ אֶת־הַמִּצְרִ֔י וַֽיִּטְמְנֵ֖הוּ בַּחֽוֹל׃
    “He turned this way and that, and seeing no one about, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”

    Rabbeinu Bahya said:
    וירא כי אין איש אין איש עתיד לעמוד ממנו שיתגייר - And he saw that no one, (there are were people standing around since pharaoh found out about this incident), no one was a man enough to stand up to him - to the Egyptian guard. All were afraid and no one stepped forward to defend the slave.

    So Moshe Rabbeinu struck the Egyptian guard, killed him and buried him in the sand.

    In the Masechet Gittin 56A there’s a story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, where the host of the party was arguing with one of the people that was invited to the party erroneously, and which happened to be his enemy - bar Kamtza. As they were arguing back and forth, no one from the rabbis present at the party said anything in his defense. When he was thrown out from the party, bar Kamtza decided to revenge all those people involved in his humiliation and the outcome was that we have lost millions of lives and the Temple was destroyed.

    In another scenario: when Moshe Rabbeinu came late for few hours from the Mount Sinai where he received the Torah, the people came over to Chur the son of Miriam and demanded from him to build them an idol - he flatly refused for which he was killed said Rashi on Shemot 32:5:3. After killing Chur they have approached Aaron haCohen. He saw how they have dealt with Chur and agreed to build them an idol, but he was stretching the time and slowing the process in hopes that Moshe Rabbeinu will come down and this plan will be foiled. But against all of his efforts and with the help of the Egyptian sorcerers working behind his back, the Golden Calf has emerged from the fire and people have worshipped the idol as it says in Shemot 32:4. When Moshe Rabbeinu came down with the commandments, he saw similar scenario, hundred or so people are dancing around the golden calf and the rest of the three million people along with Aharon haCohen are standing around and watching.

    After this incident, Aaron haCohen becomes a Rodef Shalom - the Pursuer of Peace. Aaron haCohen understood one simple truth – we should not live on autopilot. He started strengthening the unity between friends and families, thus creating peace, unity, and harmony in the society.

    But what is living on autopilot? When we live on autopilot – we make mistakes in ideology, principles, and convictions. We ignore quarrels in the society, accept and spread slander, and play along in other people's arguments.

    Evil thrives when no one goes against it when no one challenges it and it sweeps more people into it while doing lots of damage.

    As German theologian Martin Niemöller said in his poem in 1933:

    "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

    And as Albert Einstein said: “This world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

    The more we ignore things that are happening with others, standing by idly while letting things to be done and words to be said, the more it goes out of control and at the end, we too become liable in the eyes of G-d. Look around in your community, your family and the places where you have influence. Is it lacking peace? Is there are harmony or there are strife and slander?

    Moshe Rabbeinu had to get involved when Egyptian guard was beating a Jewish slave to death and he did. The rabbis that were present at the party, had to get involved in the story of Kamtza and Bar-Kamzta without concerning themselves of the consequences they might have had. And in the building of the golden calf, the three million people and Aaron haCohen had to stand their ground and go against the people that were bowing down to the idol no matter the outcome that was there for them.

    The more we keep quiet, thinking that it is none of our business and while pretending we do not notice anything – we give evil time to carry out their evil plans, because that's when they start to count on us that we will defend them, justify their actions before others and not expose their plans – and for this we carry the burden of the guilt and will be responsible before G-d, as our ancestors.

    When Aharon haCohen died, on his funeral there are were a lot of children from all those families that were about to fall apart, that he was able to save. Thousands of children were named in his name as a token of appreciation from their parents. Aharon haCohen has dedicated his life to peace, he was pursuing it, he has busied himself with it all the hours of his day – giving it the importance and letting us know of the huge responsibility that was placed on our shoulders.

    With his deeds, efforts, and results Aharon haCohen has proven that each one of us can be a peacemaker in his own society.


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