Israel Forever

For the week ending 29 January 2011 / 23 Shevat 5771

The Secret Weapon

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

One of the most striking features about life in Israelis the proliferation of chessed care for the needy. This week's Torah portion contains among its many mitzvot regarding interpersonal relationships the command to lend money to a Jew in need of a loan.

(Some commentators even call this portion by the text of this command rather than the all-inclusive term Mishpatim.)

Not only are there many gemachim – free loan funds – distributing millions of dollars in interest-free loans, but also there are scores of other projects offering every kind of service one can imagine. Open up the Religious Telephone Directory of Jerusalem and you will find about a hundred pages of listings of such imaginative services.

Our Sages tell us that when Jews care for one another and live in harmony, they are blessed with victory over their enemies. It is certainly our hope and prayer that the chessed of the Israeli public along with the chessed shown by Jews throughout the world will indeed secure Israel forever.

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