Heaven Within Reach!

There are seventy-four Mitzvos contained in this week’s Parsha. One mitzvah is that the Torah instructs one who lent his fellow an interest free loan, and the lender wishes to take some type of collateral to ensure that the loan will be repaid; the Torah gives specific rules as to how it should be done. Firstly, the lender may not enter the house of the borrower to gain access to the collateral – he must wait outside.

Secondly, when dealing with a poor person and he offers, let us say, a sleeping blanket as collateral, the lender must return the blanket in the evening so that the borrower can sleep in comfort and then he returns it in the morning. This pattern repeats itself until either the loan is repaid or the collateral is no longer necessary.

If the lender exercises this sensitive protocol the Torah tells us that the borrower will bless the lender and it will be a Tzadakah before Hashem your G-d.

Rashi explains the end of the verse, and it will be a Tzadakah before Hashem your G-d, to mean that if the borrower does not bless you for your sensitivity, you should not be concerned. Hashem will consider it a Tzadakah and you will be rewarded.

The question raised is, why would the borrower not thank and bless the lender for returning his blanket? Isn’t it a matter of decency to thank someone who is kind to you?

Some may answer that yes, for some people it is difficult to say thank you or bless others for their kindness.

However, this does not sit well with the commentaries, for how is it possible for one not to thank and bless another for a personal favor? After all, aren’t we called Yehudim – which is rooted from the word Hoda – to thank? This means that by nature we have a thankful spirit and expression.

Commentaries therefore explain that since the lender is fulfilling the Torah requirement, the borrower may feel it unnecessary to give a blessing to the lender. The Torah therefore emphasizes that the borrower should thank and bless the lender – and if for some reason he does not bless him, Hashem considers it a Tzadakah and blessing will come from G-d for following His protocol.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Barditchev explains the verse as follows: Yes, the poor person will certainly bless you for your kindness. However, when performing the Mitzvah – do it for the altruistic reason of serving the Almighty, rather than to receive the blessing from the one you helped.

The Medrash teaches us that the language of the verse, “It will be a Tzadakah before Hashem,” means that when one gives Tzadaka to another the deed is so powerful that it rides all the way up – before G-d’s Throne!

Interestingly, at one of the high moments of our prayers on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, right after the moving and awesome description of the judgment on High, we declare three disciplines that ward off serious judgment: Teshuva – repentance, Tefilla – Prayer, and Tzadaka – charity.

We find in our Medrash that each of these Mitzvos have the power, scope and effectiveness to bypass all the ‘check points’ and present themselves before the Heavenly Throne!


Right before the Torah speaks of the abovementioned laws between the borrower and the lender it reminds us of how Miriam spoke Loshon Hara about her brother Moshe. Miriam developed Tzoraas, a spiritual ailment, which required that she be quarantined for seven days. Her Tzoraas actually disappeared immediately since Moshe prayed for her. Moshe’s short five word prayer reached the Heavenly Throne and was answered.


Interestingly, the Medrash tells us that when one speaks Loshon Harah about our brethren, G-d’s children, it also reaches the Heavenly Throne.


I would imagine that conversely, when we speak positively and beneficially about each other, it certainly reaches G-d’s Heavenly Throne. This causes G-d to respond by bestowing an abundance of blessing, healing and serenity to His children!