Thursday, May 22, 2008

B'chukosai: a person's worth and value

Parshat B'Chukosai

Someone asked me last night why the section on Erchin (donating one's value to the Temple) comes immediately after the section of the Tochacha and curses? What si the connection between the two?

While other answers were offered, I suggested two possible answers:

1. The Torah is saying that after you have gone through all the curses and admonishment, a person can go into a depression. The Torah then immediately presents the portion on the values to say that despite the curses, despite the admonishment, don't get into a depression. Every person has inherent value. Don't think life is not worth living, you are nobody because you do not do enough mitzvos, etc.
You have value. We all have value.

2. Extending the first thought... somebody poor should not think he is a nobody and somebody rich should not think he is so great and better than other people. At the end of the day we are all worth the same (assuming the same gender and age group). The rich person should say "that poor guy is worth as much as me" and the poor guy should say "I am worth as much as the rich guy".

That will temper any form of depression because you think you are worth less than others, and any form of haughtiness in thinking you are worth more than others.

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