Kindness Hacks from Ki Teitzei
It had been a long day with few customers. With a sigh the shopkeeper headed towards the shutters, wondering how long his business would survive. As he approached the window, a young man walked in, alone, but to the shopkeeper accompanying him was the glimmer of hope. Perhaps his day would be more successful then he thought...
Every shopkeeper understands that people window shop, browse, and eye potential purchases. But causing the shopkeeper to experience anticipation followed by disappointment, by expressing interest in buying something with no intention whatsoever of purchasing, is forbidden by Torah law. (Sefer Hachinuch)
The Torah extends this sensitivity as far as even to a simple donkey. ‘You shall not plow with an ox and donkey together (Devarim 22:10)’
When a donkey hears the ox regurgitating its cud and chewing it again, it mistakenly thinks that lilke the ox was just fed, now he too will be fed. (Daat Zekeinim M’Baalei Tosfot) Anticipation, followed by disappointment.
What a lesson in sensitivity.
How careful we must be not to cause even a slight amount of pain or disappointment!
(Adapted from The glittering world of Chesed by Rabbi Pesach J. Khron)
Robert Louis Stevenson