Sunday, May 18, 2008

safety-nets and bitachon

כה) כִּי-יָמוּךְ אָחִיךָ וּמָכַר מֵאֲחֻזָּתוֹ וּבָא גֹאֲלוֹ הַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו וְגָאַל אֵת מִמְכַּר אָחִיו
כו) וְאִישׁ כִּי לֹא יִהְיֶה-לּוֹ גֹּאֵל וְהִשִּׂיגָה יָדוֹ וּמָצָא כְּדֵי גְאֻלָּתוֹ
כז) וְחִשַּׁב אֶת-שְׁנֵי מִמְכָּרוֹ וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת-הָעֹדֵף לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר מָכַר-לוֹ וְשָׁב לַאֲחֻזָּתוֹ

If a person sells property, a relative has the right to redeem it on behalf of the owner. A person without relatives, the parsha continues, will find funds and redeem his own land. The Netzi"v is medayek: 1) Why not simply state that a person has the right to redeem his own land - why must this idea be couched in the context of someone who has no relatives? 2) The pasuk states as a matter of certainty that "he shall obtain funds", not "if he obtains funds..." Shouldn't this be a conditional clause?

What the formulation of the pasuk suggests, writes the Netzi"v, is that only the person who has no relatives upon whom to rely will find the funds to redeem his own land. When there is a safety net in life, be it relatives, be it some other means, a person's natural instinct is to place his/her trust in that safety net, lessing his/her trust in G-d (and I would add, lessening his/her self-reliance). When all the safety nets have been stripped away and one's full trust is placed in G-d alone, only then does Hashem guarantee with certainty that one will find one's own means of redemption (and I wouldn't take that in the financial sense alone).

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