You, My Brother and Friend

Here is an important reminder by Avi Ratt, three days before the elections:”There are many ways to describe the relationship between a Jew and another Jew. In the Portion we read last Shabbat, Ki Tetze, the Torah uses two key words again and again: אחיך (your brother) and רעך (your friend; often translated as your fellow/your neighbor). It is as if the Torah insists on these words. Time and again, in different contexts, with different laws, the other Jew always remains your brother: ‘Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox’… ‘thou shalt surely bring them back unto thy brother’… ‘Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy of thy brethren’… And if it is not your brother, then it is your friend: ‘When thou comest into thy friend’s vineyard’… ‘thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy friend’s standing corn’. This is not a random choice of words, this is a social statement: This man in front of you, who is looking for what he lost, the man who needs charity, the man you hire – he is not just a random person. You may not know him, not know what his name is and perhaps the two of you have never met in person; you may not be from the same Jewish ethnicity or political party, but you share brotherhood between you, you share a covenant, a deep connection. It doesn’t matter what the campaigns are yelling. The Torah reminds us of an inherent existential secret that defines all of us: we are brothers and friends.”

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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