Parashat Re'eh: ‘You shall not harden your heart’

This week's Torah portion has a lot to do about charity.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
August 17, 2017 15:55
3 minute read.
Poverty in Israel

A homeless person begs for change in Israel. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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In this week’s Torah portion of Re’eh, we hear Moses talking about the commandment of tzedaka (charity). Looking closely at his words, we can gain a new understanding of this important mitzva, which our sages have said is equal to all the other commandments combined, and that charity brings redemption closer. The tremendous importance of the commandment of tzedaka is conveyed by the fact that for thousands of years there has never been a Jewish community around the world that did not have a charity fund so that Jews could help one another in times of need.

Let us read the words as they are written in the parasha:

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