What We Own

Chapter Five, Verse 10 of the Book of Numbers reads,”And every man’s hallowed things shall be his: whatever any man gives the priest, it shall be his.” The Chafetz Chaim extrapolates a magical message from these words that offers us all the information we need to know in life. Simply put, the first part of the verse expresses the idea that all of man’s “hallowed” things are “his” – meaning anything considered hallow (holy), namely one’s Torah, Mitzvos and Gemilus Chasadim, belong to the person forever and will travel with him to the next world. At death, everything else evaporates and will not enter the next world with him to offer merit on his behalf. Does it end there? No. The end of the verse further says that whatever you give to a “priest” as Tzedaka also will be “yours” – forever. The only money that you own is the Tzedakah you give. Knowing that only Torah, Mitzvos and Gemilus Chasadim escort us into the next world and we only own Tzedekah, our mission in this world is simplified. Mathematically put, there’s no room for error. (In addition, it may be said it’s Chapter 5, symbolizing the five books of Torah and it’s Verse 10 symbolizing the maaser that must always be taken.)

 

Rashi And Ramban In Shema

In the last paragraph of Shema we say, “lo taturu acharei levavcham Ve’acheri einechem asher atem zonim acharav leman tizkiru Vi’asetem  et kol mitzvoti, Ve’heytem kedoshim lelokechem…” The famous argument regarding “Kedoshim Tehu” between Rashi and the Ramban retains relevance to these stanzas. According to Rashi – “Kedoshim Tehu” is an outright ban on illicit and immoral behavior whereas according to the Ramban it means that one should separate himself from even things that are mutar to him. According to the verses in shema we see the illicit behavior of – “lo taturu acharei levavcham Ve’acheri einechem” mentioned before “Ve’heytem kedoshim lelokechem” which would seem to bolster Rashi’s opinion.

Best Of The Worst

When looking at the two Presidential candidates, one might argue that we are in the best of the worst scenario. On the one hand lies an accomplished businessman with little political experience who seems to rely on his common sense to maneuver the political process. On the other hand lies a burnt out political contender whose most noble achievement was “accrued miles” while serving as Secretary of State. What then is there to do in such a scenario where so much is at stake and the two vying players are so unqualified?

But is that really true? Trump can compensate for his political ignorance with the right running mate and Hillary can mask her coldness and sound bite political strategy with good advisers.

Considering religion is in play, Trump seems to be in tune with the legitimate fear we now face every day. Some say he’s oversimplifying, but argue that to the relatives of those massacred in Orlando. Hillary seems to be willing to endorse any religion so long as they pull the lever on Election Day.

In terms of Israel, Trump seems to understand the everlasting bond whereas Hillary flip flops based on public opinion. She can’t even say for sure if Israel responded with reasonable force to a thug army that shot under the cover of hospitals.

Perhaps clarity will emerge with every passing day.