Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Ki Tetze - 5771
WHEN TO ‘IGNORE’
You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. –Devarim 22:1
The Talmud reads the words “and ignore them” in an exegetically way to teach that there are times a person should overlook a lost object that is seen. The Rabbis give an example of a sage, noticing an article that he himself would never carry in public. Given that it is beneath his dignity to cart such an item, he has the right to “ignore them.”
We can learn from this that although Chesed –acts of kindness- are a fundamental part of our spiritual character, a person does not have to perform for others deeds that he would not be comfortable doing for himself. That which we are always taught, to be sensitive and concerned for the honor and welfare of all humans, applies to ourselves as well.