Weekly Portion: 7th Day of Pesach (Exodus 13:17-15:26)
This Shabbat has a special reading for the Eighth Day of Pesach. It includes the Second Tithe (the first tithe being taken for the Cohen and Levite) of one’s crop which was to be eaten in Jerusalem; remission of loans in the Shemita year (the seventh year of a seven year cycle); take care of the destitute; the Jewish slave; the three pilgrimage festivals — Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot — where the Jewish people were commanded to go up to Jerusalem. The portion from the Book of Numbers deals with the mitzvot of the Pesach holiday.
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based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
“And you shall rejoice before the Lord, your G-d, you and your son, and your daughter and your servant and your maid, and the Levite that is within your gates, and the convert, and the orphan and the widow that are in your midst” (Deut. 16:11)
Rashi cites the Sifre which points out that in this verse we have a list of four members of a person’s household: his son, his daughter, servant and maid. We also have four that are needy: the Levite, convert, orphan and widow. The Almighty says, “If you take care of My four, I will take care of your four.” We learn from here that by helping the needy we merit that our needs are taken care of as well; the Almighty responds to us measure for measure.