Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Mishpatim

Divine Trustee

By Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

"When you lend money to My people, to the poor person who is with you, do not act toward him as a creditor; do not lay interest upon him." (Shemos/Exodus 22:24) Medrash Raba (31:2) expounds that one who passes his Divine tests is fortunate, for everyone is tested by G-d. The wealthy are tested as to their ability to open their hands to the indigent, while the poor are tested in their ability to withstand the tribulations of poverty without becoming angry. If the wealthy one is able to properly fulfill his role as custodian of G-d's resources then he will be allowed to partake of his wealth in this world and will receive his reward in the next, and G-d will save him from punishment in Gehinnom (1); and if the pauper withstands his challenge and does not reject G-d, he will receive a double portion in the next world.

The wealthy man's Divine reward in the afterlife is rational; rather than using his wealth for hedonistic self-gratification, he used it as a tool in his service of G-d. But why is he saved from Gehinnom? So long as he was fulfilling his mandate, how was Gehinnom ever a threat?

Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler (2) explains that as long as he partakes of his wealth during his earthly life he is constantly at risk of straying into self indulgent pursuit of physical pleasures. This environment is the spiritual equivalent of surrounding oneself with idolatry. One of the facets of Gehinnom is the void of spiritual truth, and one who toils for spiritually vacuous materialism creates such a void of truth in himself. He has, in effect, created a Gehinnom for himself.

What does G-d do to save him? Rabbi Dessler compares him to one involved in the demolition of a wayward city (Devarim/Deuteronomy 13:13) who risks eroding his sense of compassion and sensitivity to human life, but proceeds with a Divine promise of spiritual rejuvenation to reverse any and all ill effects. So too, the affluent benefactor who strives to maintain his G-d consciousness in his use and sharing of his resources, and uses them according to Divine instructions, has a Divine promise to strengthen him and insulate him from the influence of his wealth.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) where souls are cleansed and purified of their transgressions so they may proceed to Paradise for an eternity with the Divine Presence

(2) 1891-1954; in Michtav Me'Eliyahu, his collected writings and discourses; from England and, later, B'nai Brak, he was one of the outstanding personalities and thinkers of the Mussar movement


Text Copyright 2006 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Eye Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

A Hopeful Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Certified Kosher
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

The Question/Answer Dynamic
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

From the Depths of Your Heart
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Red Heifer Reality
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

One Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Unquestioned Answers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

> Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to "Roshei haMatos?"
- 5771

Confusing Causation
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

ArtScroll

A Day of Rebuilding
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Read the Directions
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5763

Your Flattery Will Be The Death of Me
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Journey from Egypt to the World-to-Come
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information