Hacham Yaakov Hacohen Tarab


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A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Tzedakah and Healing'
in which he teaches not to let your inclination chill you on your way to doing charity, and smite the hindmost of thee
…"how, undeterred by fear of God, he met you on the way, when you were famished and weary, and cut down the stragglers in your rear". 'How he met you by the way' hints at the commandment of charity, since it is known that the word 'way' is a term for charity, as Scripture says, ' that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice'. Thus it is always; the more important a commandment, the more does the evil inclination seduce a person to avoid it…
This is what 'how he met you on the way' means – that it chills you on the way, the way referring to the commandment of charity ['met' and 'chill' in Hebrew share the same letters]; he cut down the stragglers in your rear' – 'stragglers' is to be read as those who lag behind in this commandment will be pursued. The entire claim of the evil inclination rests on saying that 'you were famished and weary' – you were made faint and weary for scant earnings, and others will come and to take them with ease.
Dvar Tov, p. 34b, Jerusalem, 1914
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