Deuteronomy 15

1Every seventh year you shall practice remission of debts.

אמִקֵּץ שֶׁבַע־שָׁנִים תַּעֲשֶׂה שְׁמִטָּה׃

2This shall be the nature of the remission: every creditor shall remit the due that he claims from his fellow; he shall not dun his fellow or kinsman, for the remission proclaimed is of Hashem.

בוְזֶה דְּבַר הַשְּׁמִטָּה שָׁמוֹט כָּל־בַּעַל מַשֵּׁה יָדוֹ אֲשֶׁר יַשֶּׁה בְּרֵעֵהוּ לֹא־יִגֹּשׂ אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ וְאֶת־אָחִיו כִּי־קָרָא שְׁמִטָּה לַיהֹוָה׃

3You may dun the foreigner; but you must remit whatever is due you from your kinsmen.

גאֶת־הַנָּכְרִי תִּגֹּשׂ וַאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֶת־אָחִיךָ תַּשְׁמֵט יָדֶךָ׃

4There shall be no needy among you—since Hashem your God will bless you in the land that Hashem your God is giving you as a hereditary portion

E-fes KEE LO yih-yeh b'-KHA ev-YON kee va-RAYKH y'-va-re-kh'-kha a-do-NAI ba-A-retz a-SHER a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha no-tayn l'-KHA na-kha-LAH l'-rish-TAH

דאֶפֶס כִּי לֹא יִהְיֶה־בְּךָ אֶבְיוֹן כִּי־בָרֵךְ יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהֹוָה בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן־לְךָ נַחֲלָה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ׃

 15:4   Hashem your God will bless you in the land that Hashem your God is giving you

The Hebrew word for ‘blessing,’ beracha (ברכה), is very similar to the word for ‘pool of water,’ bereicha (בריכה). Water refreshes, nourishes and purifies. In fact, immersing in the special pool of water known as a mikveh (מקוה), ‘ritual bath,’ is the final stage of purification for those who have become ritually impure. Similarly, when we bless something, we raise it spiritually. The Bible repeatedly refers to the Land of Israel as a blessing, teaching us that Israel is the source of abundant blessings, both material and spiritual, for the entire world

5if only you heed Hashem your God and take care to keep all this Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day.

הרַק אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת־כָּל־הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃

6For Hashem your God will bless you as He has promised you: you will extend loans to many nations, but require none yourself; you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you.

וכִּי־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בֵּרַכְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־לָךְ וְהַעֲבַטְתָּ גּוֹיִם רַבִּים וְאַתָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹט וּמָשַׁלְתָּ בְּגוֹיִם רַבִּים וּבְךָ לֹא יִמְשֹׁלוּ׃

7If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that Hashem your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman.

זכִּי־יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֶבְיוֹן מֵאַחַד אַחֶיךָ בְּאַחַד שְׁעָרֶיךָ בְּאַרְצְךָ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ לֹא תְאַמֵּץ אֶת־לְבָבְךָ וְלֹא תִקְפֹּץ אֶת־יָדְךָ מֵאָחִיךָ הָאֶבְיוֹן׃

8Rather, you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs.

חכִּי־פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת־יָדְךָ לוֹ וְהַעֲבֵט תַּעֲבִיטֶנּוּ דֵּי מַחְסֹרוֹ אֲשֶׁר יֶחְסַר לוֹ׃

9Beware lest you harbor the base thought, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is approaching,” so that you are mean to your needy kinsman and give him nothing. He will cry out to Hashem against you, and you will incur guilt.

טהִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן־יִהְיֶה דָבָר עִם־לְבָבְךָ בְלִיַּעַל לֵאמֹר קָרְבָה שְׁנַת־הַשֶּׁבַע שְׁנַת הַשְּׁמִטָּה וְרָעָה עֵינְךָ בְּאָחִיךָ הָאֶבְיוֹן וְלֹא תִתֵּן לוֹ וְקָרָא עָלֶיךָ אֶל־יְהֹוָה וְהָיָה בְךָ חֵטְא׃

10Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so, for in return Hashem your God will bless you in all your efforts and in all your undertakings.

ינָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ וְלֹא־יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־מַעֲשֶׂךָ וּבְכֹל מִשְׁלַח יָדֶךָ׃

11For there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land.

KEE lo yekh-DAL ev-YON mi-KE-rev ha-A-retz al KAYN a-no-KHEE m'-tza-v'-KHA lay-MOR pa-TO-akh tif-TAKH at ya-d'-KHA l'-a-KHEE-kha la-a-nee-YE-kha ul-ev-yo-n'-KHA b'-ar-TZE-kha

יאכִּי לֹא־יֶחְדַּל אֶבְיוֹן מִקֶּרֶב הָאָרֶץ עַל־כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ לֵאמֹר פָּתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת־יָדְךָ לְאָחִיךָ לַעֲנִיֶּךָ וּלְאֶבְיֹנְךָ בְּאַרְצֶךָ׃

 15:11   Open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman

Strangely, the word lechem (לחם), ’bread,’ is the root of the word milchama (מלחמה), which means ‘war.’ According to Rabbi Benjamin Blech in his book The Secrets of Hebrew Words, people usually do not go to war because they are wicked, but rather because they are deprived of basic necessities, such as bread. If we take care of those who are needy and provide for those who are hungry, we will be one step closer to bringing peace to the world. This is one of the reasons why the State of Israel allows for an enormous amount of supplies to cross over into Gaza each day, supplying the people living in Gaza with goods such as food, medical devices and construction materials. The Hamas-controlled area remains extremely hostile towards Israel, nevertheless, Israel hopes that the daily deliveries of bread and other supplies will lead to peace.

12If a fellow Hebrew, man or woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall set him free.

יבכִּי־יִמָּכֵר לְךָ אָחִיךָ הָעִבְרִי אוֹ הָעִבְרִיָּה וַעֲבָדְךָ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת תְּשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ׃

13When you set him free, do not let him go empty-handed:

יגוְכִי־תְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ לֹא תְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ רֵיקָם׃

14Furnish him out of the flock, threshing floor, and vat, with which Hashem your God has blessed you.

ידהַעֲנֵיק תַּעֲנִיק לוֹ מִצֹּאנְךָ וּמִגָּרְנְךָ וּמִיִּקְבֶךָ אֲשֶׁר בֵּרַכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּתֶּן־לוֹ׃

15Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and Hashem your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today.

טווְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיִּפְדְּךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל־כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה הַיּוֹם׃

16But should he say to you, “I do not want to leave you”—for he loves you and your household and is happy with you

טזוְהָיָה כִּי־יֹאמַר אֵלֶיךָ לֹא אֵצֵא מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אֲהֵבְךָ וְאֶת־בֵּיתֶךָ כִּי־טוֹב לוֹ עִמָּךְ׃

17you shall take an awl and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall become your slave in perpetuity. Do the same with your female slave.

יזוְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַמַּרְצֵעַ וְנָתַתָּה בְאָזְנוֹ וּבַדֶּלֶת וְהָיָה לְךָ עֶבֶד עוֹלָם וְאַף לַאֲמָתְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה־כֵּן׃

18When you do set him free, do not feel aggrieved; for in the six years he has given you double the service of a hired man. Moreover, Hashem your God will bless you in all you do.

יחלֹא־יִקְשֶׁה בְעֵינֶךָ בְּשַׁלֵּחֲךָ אֹתוֹ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי מִשְׁנֶה שְׂכַר שָׂכִיר עֲבָדְךָ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה׃

19You shall consecrate to Hashem your God all male firstlings that are born in your herd and in your flock: you must not work your firstling ox or shear your firstling sheep.

יטכָּל־הַבְּכוֹר אֲשֶׁר יִוָּלֵד בִּבְקָרְךָ וּבְצֹאנְךָ הַזָּכָר תַּקְדִּישׁ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא תַעֲבֹד בִּבְכֹר שׁוֹרֶךָ וְלֹא תָגֹז בְּכוֹר צֹאנֶךָ׃

20You and your household shall eat it annually before Hashem your God in the place that Hashem will choose.

כלִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תֹאכֲלֶנּוּ שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אַתָּה וּבֵיתֶךָ׃

21But if it has a defect, lameness or blindness, any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to Hashem your God.

כאוְכִי־יִהְיֶה בוֹ מוּם פִּסֵּחַ אוֹ עִוֵּר כֹּל מוּם רָע לֹא תִזְבָּחֶנּוּ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃

22Eat it in your settlements, the unclean among you no less than the clean, just like the gazelle and the deer.

כבבִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ הַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר יַחְדָּו כַּצְּבִי וְכָאַיָּל׃

23Only you must not partake of its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.

כגרַק אֶת־דָּמוֹ לֹא תֹאכֵל עַל־הָאָרֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶנּוּ כַּמָּיִם׃