||MAKING CONCEPTS PRACTICAL
- February '03/Shevat-Adar I 5763
MAKING CONCEPTS PRACTICAL
In practical life, especially in interpersonal relations, situations may be a bit different than in the cases cited in halacha or in any of the stories recounted. Interpersonal matters can be complex. There are generally two sides to a story, two sets of conflicting or mutually exclusive interests and there can be varying or contradictory Torah principles in a given practical issue. Weighing issues in a question requires much knowledge. It is therefore imperative that you bring case by case individuals questions to a qualified posaik or your rav. This material should help make you more sensitive to and aware of
* the issues involved in interpersonal obligations,
* what constitutes a shaalo (rabbinic question) and
* when an opportunity presents itself for chesed (acts of lovingkindness) or mitzva (fulfillment of G-d's law).
There are very high stakes for harming or neglecting a fellow Jew in any way. The Torah totally governs whatever effect we may have on any other person.
I am hoping that by bringing together sources, even if some of them alone may be well known, so that together they will give the reader a firmer background in and overview of interpersonal mitzvos; so that more Jews will come to more fulfillment of the will of Hashem, qualitatively and quantitatively, in these very important, and sometimes overlooked, areas.
"Give chesed (lovingkindness) to Avraham (Mica 7:20)." If the descendents of Avraham go "in the way of Hashem," according to the training that Avraham gave to his children (Genesis 18:19), Hashem will reward and bless Avraham's descendents. Since chesed was a key attribute of Avraham, chesed is a primary way of carrying out his instruction to us - in practice and spirit. Therefore, G-d's keeping His promise to Avraham will substantially be manifested as the reward for chesed that Jews (the descendents of Avraham) do for one another (Rashi on Mica 7:20 and Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch on this verse in "Uva LiTzion" in his commentary on the Siddur).