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Dvar for Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17)

The Parsha concludes with a recap of the major festivals (Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot) and the pronouncement that “every man as much as his hand can give” based on what they have been given (16:17). The K’tav Sofer wonders why the word “hand” is included in this proclamation.

The K’tav Sofer suggests that exercising the act of physically giving with our hands accomplishes more than simply fulfilling the commandment. Giving through a child or messenger is certainly considered charity, but giving of ourselves personally (be it time, money, or other acts of kindness) is acclimating our physical selves to performing these positive acts as well as satisfying our subconscious. When we say “pote’ach et yadecha u’masbia le’chol chai ratzon” (You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing), we acknowledge that G-d personally tends to our needs. Similarly, adding the personal touch to our acts of kindness increases those acts exponentially, not just for whom we’re helping but for ourselves as well.