Posted by: mosesfromsinai | September 11, 2011

Key Taitzai – When You Go Out

This week’s Torah Reading is Key  Taitzai.  The Parsha contains 27 Positive Commandments and 47 Negative Commandments.  It is fully packed.

Among the commandments is the Mitzvah of Hashavat Avaida, Returning a Lost Article.  This Mitzvah was first mentioned in the Book of Shemot in the Parsha of Mishpateem.  There the Mitzvah dealt with an easy job of returning a lost article.  Here we are talking about a difficult challenge in returning a lost object and still the Mitzvah applies.

In this Parsha it refers to returning a lost Shor (ox) or Seh (lamb).  The concept of an ox is the attribute of stubborn and aggressive.  The concept of a lamb is the attribute of shyness and a follower.  There are two types of personalities common in people; there are those that are like the ox, stubborn and aggressive and there are those like the lamb, shy and followers.

The Torah is also telling us if we see a person that is lost (from their Jewish path), whether it be one with the personality of an ox or the personality of a lamb, we do have the Mitzvah of trying to return that person to its rightful self (Jewish path).  We may not run away from our obligation or hide our eyes to what we see.  The mere fact that we have encountered such a person is a sign that we have a responsibility, even if the job is a difficult one.  It may take some time and investment of energy, but we are not exempt.  This challenge is also a battle, which is the topic of the overall Parsha, Key Taitzai, (When You Go Out – to fight your enemies).  A major enemy of our nation is assimilation.  We have a responsibility to return the person we encounter back to the Jewish path.

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