Selected Events

Sunday 21 Av

Passing of Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk (1853-1918), outstanding Talmudic scholar and Jewish leader.

Friday 24 Av

In 1843, the Interior Ministry of the Czarist government convened a rabbinical conference in the Russian capital of Petersburg, to the end of imposing changes in Jewish communal life and religious practice. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866, known as the “Tzemach Tzeddek” after his Halachic works by that name) was invited; as a primary figure in the leadership of Russian Jewry, his compliance was required to lend legitimacy to the government’s proposed “reforms”. In the course of the conference, the Tzemach Tzeddek was placed under arrest no less than 22 (!) times for his refusal to cooperate. When he finally departed Petersburg on the 26th of Av, he had successfully prevented the government’s disruption of traditional Jewish life.

Re’eh: Supporting the Poor

Summary

This weeks Torah portion address the Mitsvah, positive command, of charity.  In it, the verse states:

There will be no poor among you when God will bless you in the land that He will give to you as an inheritance; only when you listen to the voice of God and guard to do all that He has commanded you today (Deut. 15:4-5).

The poor will never cease from among the face of the land therefor I have commanded you: open your hand to your brother, to the poor and destitiue in your land (Deut 15:12).

Questions

This section require clarification.  Why in one section are we promised that there will be no poor, and only a few verses later are we told that the poor will never disappear?

Answers

Eben Ezra- There will be poor since God knows the future and can tell that there will never be a time when the Jewish People will be completely blameless.

Ramban- Surely this section is not a prophetic decree stating that there surely will be a time when they Jewish people will sin.  God is aware that the Jewish people will always have poor since there will always be those that do not follow the Torah.

 

Lesson / Observation.

Is the above announcement a prophetic vision or a warning?

What does this passage teach us and not judging other’s actions?