We’re plowing through the Torah!
On to another portion called Behar. On the Mountain.
It begins with, “G-d spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai, saying… (Leviticus, 25:1)
What aspects of life were addressed at Mount Sinai?
Here’s one you might not have expected.
… “You shall not hurt the feelings of one another”. (25:17)
What comes to mind?
Things like not insulting someone. Or embarrassing him publicly.
But Jewish tradition takes it a lot further.
I buy a top of the line outdoor gas grill. I shopped around. And got a good price.
But you know how it is. You always wonder if you could have done better.
(I wonder sometimes if we got that at Mount Sinai too!)
So I step into another store. And ask the price of that same grill.
And I walk out feeling great. Yes!
I paid less!
The Talmud says: I’m not allowed to do that.
Because I had absolutely no intention of buying it.
But when I asked the price?
I got the salesman’s hopes up.
Then I just walked out. Dashed his hopes.
And I have no right to do that.
“You shall not hurt the feelings of one another”. It’s a tremendous sensitivity towards the feelings of others.
And the Torah demands it!
… We recently discussed the holidays. And spoke about charity.
But the Torah also cares about how we shop!
So we can’t raise someone’s hopes for no reason.
But there is something we can do next time we check out at the store.
We can be generous with our smiles.
And raise the spirits of the cashier!
All the best,