Mishpatim 5774

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In the middle of the parsha we learn about the mitzvah of giving tzedakah. In the very same verse, we are commanded not to charge interest. Chazal say in many places how harsh the punishment is for doing so. Why are these two mitzvos next to each other? Rav Chaim Shmulewitz explains that tzedakah is a great mitzvah due to being done out of pure chesed. Charging interest is taking that chesed you've done and tainting it; you look to gain something in return for your good deed. By being selfish, you lose your place in the World to Come.


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