Parshat Ki Teitzei By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס”ד
לשכנו תדרשו Inviting the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
To the Poor You Shall Leave It
The Zohar teaches us: “Every night a voice calls out when Hashem communes with the souls in the Garden of Eden… saying “go and occupy yourselves with Torah in order to unite the Holy Presence with the Holy Blessed Be He… for the Holy Presence from the side of Kindness [chesed] is called gemilut chasadim, from the side of Might [gevura] She (the Holy Presence) is called akeida or Service, and from the side of the Central Beam [tiferet] She is called Torah. However, there is no one that comes to awaken Her to unite with Her Husband through these attributes (i.e., we need to unite Her with Her “Husband through these attributes: Torah, Service, and Kindness)…” This passage in the Zohar teaches us that in order to unite the Holy Presence with Her “Husband” three methods must be used: Torah, Service, and Kindness. This teaching clearly alludes to the Mishna in Avot that teaches that “upon three things the world stands: Torah, Service/Prayer [avoda], and acts of loving-kindness [gemilut chasadim]. According to the aforementioned Zohar, this Mishna can be interpreted homiletically. The Kabbalists teach that one of the names of the Holy Presence is “olam,” or world. If so, this Mishna can mean that through three things the “world,” i.e., the Holy Presence, “stands,” i.e., can be raised to “stand” and be united with Her “Husband”: By Torah, Service, and Kindness.
With regard to “Kindness to the Holy Presence” we can identify three types of constant “acts of kindness” unique to the Land of the Holy Presence, the Land of Israel, towards the poor who are considered close to the Holy Presence in their humble state as it says, “I (the Holy Presence) am with the poor and downtrodden of spirit” ( Isaiah 57, 15): 1. Peah 2. Leket/Olelot 3. Shichecha . Olelot and Shichecha are mentioned in this parsha. These three acts of kindness may be seen as indicative of three types of Divine Providence in life. Peah, the most pronounced and explicitly given gift, which is intentionally left at a distinct corner of the field, represents the more revealed Providence that can be seen through miracles and their like. The second gift, leket (and olelot), pertains to produce that accidentally fell while harvesting, as well as small insignificant grapes that fell during the harvest. This may represent the other extreme of the previous Providence; i.e., Providence that seems to be even accidental or insignificant. But it seems the Torah wishes to teach us that this too is also from God. The third gift, shichecha, which is given on the basis of human forgetfulness of produce in the fields, represents the Providence that works through human consciousness, where it seems as if humans are responsible for what has transpired. However, when one contemplates what has actually occurred, one comes to realize that it is the Hand of God working through the minds of people.
Hebron is the perfect place to develop this attribute of kindness, for it is here that Avraham established his spiritual center where he greeted all mankind with benevolence and kindness, and brought them to the service of Hashem.
Real Stories from the Holy Land
“Once three Muslims entered the Cave of Maarat Hamachpela, and all three were burnt miraculously there. Since then the Arabs did not let anyone enter the Cave. Even the Arab officials who were wont to take bribes would not let anyone inside the Cave itself even if all money in the world would be given to them. And if someone entered he would be lashed severely, and in early years he would be even burned to death…”
Sefer Hebron p. 302