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|Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
As Divided for The Daily Learning Schedule
Positive Mitzvah 197;
Negative Mitzvah 234
Positive Mitzvah 197: Lending Money
Exodus 22:24 "If you lend money to any of My people that is poor among you"
Lending money to a needy person is a greater act of Tzedakah than actually giving it as charity!
Giving money to a person who has fallen to the point where he must beg for help is important. However, by giving a fellow Jew a loan, you prevent him from begging for help.
We are commanded to lend money to people who need it.
By doing so, we are assisting them to stand on their own two feet and help them pull out of their difficulties.
Negative Mitzvah 234: It is forbidden to demand payment of a loan from a borrower who cannot return it
Exodus 22:24 "You shall not be to him as a creditor"
Solly's class went on an outing.
They hiked through the woods and then arrived at a nearby lake where they were to go boating.
While the teacher was organizing the groups for rowing, all the boys went to the canteen to buy drinks.
Solly noticed that Itzi was standing alone and staring ahead with an uncomfortable look in his eyes.
Slowly, Itzi approached Solly, and hesitantly asked in a hushed voice:
"Would you please lend me thirty-five cents?"
Solly remembered that on many of the class trips, Itzi never seemed to bring spending money. "Maybe his parents just can't afford to give him extra money," Solly thought to himself. "But that means that he probably won't pay me back!"
Nevertheless, Solly reached into his wallet and lent Itzi the money, without saying a word.
In fact, Solly didn't say a word about the loan afterwards either! He decided not to remind Itzi about the loan, hoping that he would return the money as soon as he could.
Solly was keeping the Mitzvah of not demanding a loan back from someone who has trouble returning it. The Torah cautions us to be patient and not to harass the borrower.
In the end Solly's patience paid off. A few weeks later, Itzi returned the thirty-five cents and apologized for the delay.
Solly invited him to his home and the two soon became good friends.
Rabbi Zera fasted 100 fasts to forget all he had learned in Babylonia, so he could go on to learn the Torah of the Land of Israel. Learning is not the mere acquisition of knowledge and more knowledge. Learning is a process of making quantum leaps beyond the subjective self. No matter how high a summit you may reach, there is always another peak above. But you can only reach that peak once you realize you are still in the valley.
From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman - email@example.com