Updated: Feb 3
By: Ben Grosz (11th Grade)
This week’s parsha, Parsha Re’eh, takes place during the final days that Moshe Rabbeinu spends with Bnei Yisrael. Before long, the Jewish people will be entering into the Land of Israel, and Moshe knows that his time as their leader will soon be over. Moshe spends these final days preparing them for his departure and their entry into Israel, which is why there are so many mitzvot in this parsha, especially ones that pertain to life in the land of Israel.
It is in this parsha that the mitzvah of tzedakah is described three different times, each as a double expression. First, the parsha says תפתח פתח which literally translates to “opening you you shall open” [SIC]. Next, the parsha says תעביטנו העבט “grant him you shall grant.” Lastly, the torah says תתן נתון “Giving you shall give.” Why did Hashem deem it necessary to use a double expression for this mitzvah? Also, why is this phrasing repeated so many times? Lastly, what is the Torah trying to teach us?
One way to answer these questions is by using the Rambam’s approach. The Rambam says that when the Torah uses an infinitive mode, it shows that the action must be continuously done. We can apply this explanation to the mitzvah of tzedakah. The reason that the Torah uses a double expression, and uses it so many times, is to teach us that charity and helping others is not something we do once in a while, but must be done all the time. We must always be aware of others and do our very best to help in any way.