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Torah Corner – Kindness Shoftim

The Torah tells us that if a man has built a house but has not lived in it, he may not fight in a war, because if he should die, another man will live in his house. This, says Rashi, is a situation of great anguish.

Some things in life just seem unfair. Why should someone else benefit from my efforts? It is natural for a person to feel disgruntled when something like this happens and the Torah recognises that most people will feel this way.

However, a person of true kindness will never feel resentment when another person benefits from his efforts. Such a person will realise that at times we do things from which others benefit and there are times that we benefit from the kindness of others.

The Talmud tells us about a great sage who was journeying on the road and he saw a man planting a carob tree. He asked him, “How long does it take for this tree to bear fruit?” The man replied, “Seventy years.” He then asked him: “Are you certain that you will live another seventy years?” The man replied, “I found carob trees in the world. As my forefathers planted these for me so I too plant these for my children.”

Not everything we do in life has to be for our own benefit. Doing something for others or future generations is what keeps the world going.

Good Shabbos


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