Taking Care of Yourself in the New Year

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
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by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on January 1, 2020
Jews learn early in life that their Jewish heritage includes a strong focus on helping others.  The Torah has multiple laws that require us to take care of the poor (e.g., Leviticus 19:9-10; Deuteronomy 15:7-15), and the Rabbis expanded on that to require that every Jewish community establish a soup kitchen to feed the poor and a charity fund to supply them with clothing and shelter (Tosefta, Pe’ah 4;9).  Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Torah, depicts God as caring for the widow, orphan, and stranger (10:18), and it bids us in several places to do so likewise (14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:19-21; Read more...