For May Day

Click here for the Hebrew text

If one with whom you are close has become destitute and is now under your control in a hierarchical way  – עמך –  then you, too, must have fallen when he did.  (Leviticus 25:39)

How could it have happened that one with whom you were close has lost dignity, felt desperate, powerless, without resources and is now under your control?

The answer is that something got in the way of the rich person’s feeling like helping.  He didn’t take action.  He could have done something to prevent this from happening.  Had he stepped in with generosity, then the one with whom he is close wouldn’t have plunged to the depths.

And therefore you have fallen.  And therefore, you don’t have a right to put him to work doing something for which he is not suited.

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