Kindness Hacks from Emor
It’s Temple times. A poor person walks past a field breathing a sigh of relief that grain still remains untouched in the corner. Grateful that no one is around to witness, he enters the field and takes enough for his next meal.
In this weeks Parsha we learn of the command that a farmer must leave the corner of his field for the poor.
Rashi explains that the owner of the field should not hand the produce to the recipient but allow him to collect it himself. R’ Chaim Zaitchik explains that this spares him the humiliation of being handed charity, and instead can just take what is due to him by Torah law.
He adds that when someone serves a guest, one should behave similarly. Don’t force food on him. Allow the guest to take as much or as little as he wishes.
A fascinating point that can be developed further...
When we ‘give’ are we always thinking about the feelings of the recipient? Or sometimes in our eagerness to do good can we actually cause the receiver to feel uncomfortable, or perhaps even make matters worse?
Is piling food onto a guests plate, overstaying a visit to a patient, praising someone in public when they prefer the anonymity, actually chesed? Our intentions might be the best, but the outcome not so.
A true giver will refine his giving so that it is truly about what is best for the other person, even if sometimes it means holding back.
Leave grain in the field for the poor, but don’t hand it to him.
(Torah ideas from Love Your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)