April 19, 2014 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Ki Tetze

When is doing nothing a mitzvah? In Parshah KiTetzei among the laws given is this: "When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the fatherless and the widow - in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings." (Deut. 24:19) This is not something you can do on purpose, like putting on tefillin or fasting on Yom Kippur. Its goal is not to teach an action but an attitude: you can't have it all, nor do you need it. Don't be greedy. If you've left something behind there are people who need it more than you. In an era where we've seen all too many examples of rampant greed, here's a lesson that isn't immediately obvious. If you realize crops (and other wealth) derive from God, you should be grateful for what you have, and be glad that others can partake as well.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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Ani Ledodi

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The author is a Zoologist with an advanced degree in Endangered Species Management. Though her passion is Conservation, she lectures all over the United States on topics that meld Torah with scientific concepts, especially those pertaining to animals.

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