Friday, August 31, 2007

A chilling verse

נו הָרַכָּה בְךָ וְהָעֲנֻגָּה, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִסְּתָה כַף-רַגְלָהּ הַצֵּג עַל-הָאָרֶץ, מֵהִתְעַנֵּג, וּמֵרֹךְ--תֵּרַע עֵינָהּ בְּאִישׁ חֵיקָהּ, וּבִבְנָהּ וּבְבִתָּהּ. נז וּבְשִׁלְיָתָהּ הַיּוֹצֵת מִבֵּין רַגְלֶיהָ, וּבְבָנֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵד, כִּי-תֹאכְלֵם בְּחֹסֶר-כֹּל, בַּסָּתֶר--בְּמָצוֹר, וּבְמָצוֹק, אֲשֶׁר יָצִיק לְךָ אֹיִבְךָ, בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ.

A chilling pasuq, definitely, in tomorrow's leyning:

The most gentle woman among you, aye, the most dainty, who has not even tried to put the palm of her foot onto the ground, because of her gentleness and daintiness-- she shall not be generous to her bosom husband, or her sun, or her daughter, or her placenta that comes forth from between her legs, and the babies that she bears, for possessing nothing, she shall eat them in secret-- in the siege and the straits that your enemy causes you in your gates.

What's so chilling about this verse?

It describes what it is like to have nothing. Literally, nothing.

All of us who can read this at least have access to a computer. Some readers of this post may be starving to death-- I hope not, but it could be quite likely-- but at least they have something.

There are people out there who have nothing. Not even self-respect. Their oppressors, or possibly just the situations of life, have taken away everything from them, perhaps since the moment of their birth.

בחוסר כל

How can we help such people, in this period before Yom Tov? I suppose that we can help the Jews by giving them supplies and self-respect for Yom Tov. And what about the non-Jews? Well, for the American non-Jews, I guess we can give them supplies and self-respect for Thanksgiving.

Isn't it good that there exists a non-sectarian festal day in America, when we can reach out to people who "live" (if you can call it "life" בחוסר כל?


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