You shall not deduct interest from loans to your countryman, whether in money or food or anything else that can be deducted as interest. ” (Deuteronomy 23:20)
The Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, prescribes a great act of tzedakah. The idea that we ought to assist our brethren in reduced circumstances with timely, interest-free loans so that they may maintain themselves through their own work, without resorting to the acceptance of alms, is surely a utopian ideal. Economies don’t generally operate without the taking of interest. But the laws of the Torah were designed to protect the hungry from starvation and the disenfranchised from being reduced to utter want. Judaism demands that we move against the weakness of our natures and strive to lift ourselves above our baser impulses. Our tradition’s singular commitment to justice tempered with mercy has been the backbone of the well-being of so many for generations.
There are only three more weeks left before the High Holy Days and it is good practice at this time of the year to look out for the well being of our fellow Jews, neighbours and ourselves. Perhaps it is our liturgy that reminds us how fragile life is and how easily one can loose literally everything in life—but hopefully not the support of one’s congregation.
Therefore, I appeal to you to help us at Bet David, so that we can help others. We have at Bet David a Discretionary Fund which is handled by me, and I promise you that the money from this fund is only used to help individuals when they need us, following the aims and ideals of our tradition and the Torah.
Not to forget Kehillah, our sisterhood who has helped so many over the years that it is beyond words and counting. This is often done behind the scenes and has brought immense relief to individuals and families. Everyone who has helped in the past has contributed to their outstanding work.
And finally, Bet David itself also needs your financial support. The infrastructure that we offer is more than a house of worship. Thanks to your support, Bet David offers assistance and help to those in need and at times of great difficulties.
Please consider a donation to Bet David before the High Holy Days. Any contribution will make a difference. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
– Rabbi Adrian M Schell