27 Aug Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Ki Teitzei 5775
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Ki Teitzei which of course continues Moshe’s final speech to the Israelites (the speech is almost over…I promise). Among the plethora of laws that we find in this week’s portion is the prohibition against charging interest on loans to what the Torah calls “countrymen”, what was then a fellow Israelite and for us is understood to be a fellow Jew. The reward for not charging interest is God’s blessings, so it would seem this would be a commandment worth following, even if it meant a slight decrease in profits earned by the creditor. But let’s not forget an extra bonus that comes with being generous to our fellow Jews and that is an increased feeling of unity within our community. In this day and age, when divisions run a plenty, we should do whatever we can to look out for one another. Sometimes that comes in the form of basic kindnesses and sometimes it comes in the form of helping a fellow Jew in their time of economic need. Even if it means a small financial loss, the gain of a unified community and God’s blessing is well worth it.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik