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Daily Aliya for Behar, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: All the laws mentioned above apply to fields and homes in un-walled cities. Homes in walled cities, on the other hand, may be redeemed for their full value for up to one year after the sale. If not redeemed within the year, they become the permanent property of the buyer, and they are not released by the Jubilee. Another exception to these rules is the property allotted to the Levites. The homes and fields in the forty-eight Levite cities are always redeemable — from the moment of purchase until the Jubilee year, when in any event they revert to their owners. We are then commanded to assist our brethren by coming to their aid before they become financially ruined and dependent on the help of others. We are also forbidden to charge interest on a loan to a fellow Jew.

The pasuk says that one should not lend money and charge interest. The word used here is “B’neshech”, which also means “with a bite”. A Jew who lends money to his fellow should do it with an open heart and a pleasant disposition, and not be snappy or curt with the recipient. The Torah repeatedly shows us the compassion that G-d has for the down-trodden. He wants us to emulate those feelings. Giving is good. Helping others is good. But it must be with a pleasantness that will not hurt the feelings of the already disadvantaged.