If you lend money to My nation, to the poor that are with you

Exodus 22:24

I am rich. I’ve got everything a man needs to enjoy life. Wife, parents, kids, siblings, house, car, job, friends: check, check, check. I’ve got the set. Nothing missing.

Okay, I may not be the greatest husband, son or father going around; I owe money on the mortgage and car loan; and I’ve got serious shortcomings in I might sound flippant, but I’m truly grateful. my performance as a friend and employee. But why quibble about the little details? At least I’ve been dealt the right cards, even if I haven’t been playing them that well lately.

I might sound flippant, but I’m truly grateful. I know people who are desperate for any one of the things on my list. There are lonely people looking for families, indigent people desperate for a loan, and the long-term unemployed who’d love another chance at a job. I should be counting my blessings.

How do I demonstrate proper gratitude for the gifts with which I have been endowed? First, by not taking them for granted, and working harder to deserve them. Marriages would not break down if people wouldn’t get so blasé about their responsibilities to the relationship. If we worked as hard every day as we did during the trial period, we’d be far more productive. If friends and family were as important to us as we claim, we’d call them more often.

Second, we’d do more to help others enjoy our advantages:

Make matches: introduce people with the purpose of matrimony. Every time you meet someone single, sit down and think who you know who might be appropriate. Keep a mental Rolodex of eligible acquaintances, and constantly cross-reference your list.

Help people find work. Who do you know who’s looking? Which of your acquaintances would be willing to put on someone new for a trial run? Make the introduction, become the facilitator; hopefully, in time, both parties will thank you for your interest.

Take your money and lend it out in interest-free loans. It’s not a gift; you’ll get it back, but you’ll help someone grow while maintaining their dignity. None of these things cost you anything but caring and concern, but the Make the introduction, become the facilitator, hopefully, in time both parties will thank you for your interest.object of your efforts gains forever.

By helping set people on their feet, whether professionally, personally or emotionally, one fulfills the mitzvah to “lend money to My nation, to the poor with you.” We are all poor in certain aspects of life, lacking some of the fundamentals for happiness, and we depend on others to extend a helping hand on our journey up. We’re not giving charity or helping the undeserving; we’re just helping them establish their own families and businesses from which they will, in turn, eventually help others.

These people are not out of sight, out of mind; they are “with you”! They are our brothers and sisters. They might be temporarily “poor,” in short-term need of your help, but they are just like you. You might currently be fortunate in your lifestyle, employment or family life, but what are you doing to help others enjoy the same?

Why should you care? Why put yourself out? Because that’s how you demonstrate that you are a member of G‑d’s nation. The Lubavitcher Rebbe explained that the words “if you lend money to My nation” can be alternatively punctuated to read, “If you lend money, you are My nation.” The telltale signs of a true Jew are his concern for the needs of others, the determination to share one’s own blessings, and the resolution and creativity to find a way to help.