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Mitzvos Relating to Our Fellow Man

Mitzvah 36 and 37: Helping Unload and Reload

"If you see the donkey of your enemy crouching under its burden... you shall help him with it." (Shemos 23:5)

"If you see your friend's ox or his donkey falling... you shall stand them up with him." (Devarim 22:4)

If someone is buckling under a load, it is a mitzvah to help him unload it. Help him rearrange his load and get back on his way.

The Sefer HaChinuch says that we learn from this mitzvah to have compassion on others and try to help those who are suffering. When we have mercy on others, Hashem will have mercy on us.

The Aruch HaShulchan (siman 272) says the mitzvah applies also to a vehicle such as a wagon. In our days, we can extend this to a car or any other motorized vehicle.

The Mishna teaches, "Carry loads with others" (Avos 6:6). Mesilas Yesharim explains that although this mishnah refers to emotional loads and situations of stress, the simple meaning also includes the mitzvah of helping others carry luggage or heavy bags of any kind.

Text Copyright 2007 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and



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