#38. To Assist in Replacing the Load Upon a Neighbor's Beast.
#39. Not to Leave a Beast, that has Fallen Down Beneath its Burden, Unaided.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR'S BEAST.
"Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again."
Why would someone hide if they saw such a situation? To avoid hard work, yes. To avoid injury, yes. To avoid interacting, yes. To avoid being blamed should something go wrong, yes. Nevertheless, one is commanded to help, whenever physically possible, and not fall prey to fears.
"Oh, if only I'd minded my own business, this trouble would not have befallen me!" What if one stops to help but becomes embroiled in trouble during or after? What if one's worst fears come true? Not always does a good deed go well. Nevertheless, it is a community spirit, and a human kindness, to perform this mitzvah. If karma does not reward, but instead returns the favor with apparent evil, this does not neutralize obedience to the commandment, the community, or humanity. The commandment is not to blame.
Does the commandment apply not only to pack animals but also to modern conveyances such as pickup trucks? If I see a person with a flat tire, should I stop to help? Naturally.
if the person is not my brother, but is a pagan or atheist? As
with the previous commandment (#37), if you choose to live among such,
you must help. The Good Samaritan principle applies here.
Does this commandment tell us, by analogy, to help a fallen spirit? It sounds
good, and there's nothing wrong with helping such a soul, but is it a
legal duty here?
Listen today to hear the answer to this question, and many others!
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