KI Seitzei - Finding Integrity

By BJLife Newsroom

Posted on 08/27/20 | From 60secondspark

Parshas HaShavua Divrei Torah sponsored by
Dr. Shapsy Tajerstein, DPM - Podiatry Care.
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There is a perplexing statement recorded in the middle of this week’s Parsha. “ לאֹ־תִרְאֶה אֶת־שׁוֹר
אָחִיךָ אוֹ אֶת־שֵׂיוֹ נִדָחִים וְהִתְעַלַמְתָ מֵׂהֶם הָשֵׁׂב תְשִׁ יבֵׂם לְאָחִיךָ – You shall not see the ox of your brother or his lamb/kid cast off, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely return them to your brother.” (Devarim 22:1) Why did the Almighty repeat the mitzvah of returning a lost animal if it is already noted earlier כִי תִפְגַע שׁוֹר אֹיִבְךָ אוֹ חֲמֹרוֹ תֹעֶה הָשֵׁׂב תְשִׁיבֶנּוּ ל וֹ – When you encounter the ox of your enemy or his donkey that’s lost, you shall surely return them to him”? (Shemos 23:4) In order to fully appreciate the answer, we must first comprehend an incredible story shared in Rav Yosef Weiss’ Visions of Greatness (VI:129):
Reb Gur Aryeh Herzig walked outside the terminal into the balmy sunshine at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. He was eager to get to his final destination in Yerushalayim and gladly found a taxi driver willing to take him all the way to his hotel. When they arrived, Reb Herzig paid the taxi driver, carefully gathered up all his belongings, and even managed to walk into the hotel without dropping anything. It wasn’t until he was in his room that he realized he was missing his hat and must have left it in the taxi. Distraught, Reb Herzig made his way to the lobby and approached the desk clerk whose expression remained dubious. “I don’t know if you’ll ever see your hat again.” “Surely there’s something I can do! Perhaps somewhere to call?” The clerk shook his head despairingly, “You could try the company, but there’s really no point. It’s up to the driver to find your hat and bring it back. It’s not going to happen.” Reb Herzig asked around the hotel for more helpful advice, but everyone had the same response. Admitting defeat, Reb Herzig asked where he could purchase a new hat. The store was thankfully close by and the storeowner was pleased he found a hat that fit his customer perfectly. “This is an excellent hat, but you don’t look happy. Would you rather try something else?” Reb Herzig responded, “No, the hat is fine, but I’m just not happy that I need to buy the hat in the first place.” After a little more prompting, he explained what happened, and the owner stood quietly for a few minutes. Then he took the hat from his customer and placed it firmly back on the shelf. “I’m sorry, but I cannot sell you a hat.” Reb Herzig was astonished, “Why not!?” I need a hat and am ready to pay for it!” The owner was firm in his resolve. “No. If I sell you that hat, you’ll always think that all taxi drivers here are dishonest. This isn’t so. I want you to go to the taxi company and ask if anyone turned in a hat. Please try to get it back before giving up like this.” No amount of begging could get the owner to change his mind as he explained how to reach the taxi company’s office. It was a long walk to the office, but he found the right address, pushed open the door, and stopped in his tracks. Sitting on a shelf facing the door was his hat. Reb Herzig left Israel with his hat intact and a new appreciation for the honesty of his fellow Jew.

Rav Yaakov ben Asher beautifully explains in the Tur Ha’Aruch (Devarim 22:1) that the initial instruction in Shemos only tells us to return a lost animal without investing much effort, but the seemingly superfluous verse in this week’s Parsha teaches, “ הוסיף כאן נדחים לומר אע"פ שברחו והרחיקו ממנו אתה
צריך ליטפל בם - Even if they ran far away, you need to take care of them.” Although it may be difficult to patiently help others, never underestimate the power of going the extra mile – just ask Reb Herzig