Lift Yourself & Others Up

Ok. I ended the title with a preposition – “UP”. In grammar you’re allowed – but it is less formal. It sounds a little better than “Lift Up Yourself”. OK.

In any case – there is a mitzvah in the Torah for two towns that finds a dead body in between them – to measure the distance between their town and the body and the one that is closer makes a declararion “Our hands did not spill this blood and our eyes did not see” (Devarim / Deut 21:7)

It is the elder Jewish sages of the town that make the declaration. How can we think that the elders are going to kill an innocent person? The Bekhor Shor says : We did not see him to give him food for his journey and to accompany him after he left.

Accompany others with good words

Accompaniment is an important part of saying goodbye. When a guest comes to our house we provide three things – Ochel, Sheina, Levaya. Avraham Avinu had an Eshel – a tent. He used to do all three – give food, provide lodging and accompany the people when they left. When one goes on a trip we accompany them a bit and leave with positive words of Torah.

When a person passed to the next world we also accompany the departed to the grave.

In all accompaniment / Levaya – We are basically saying we are here for you. We give them Hizuk – strength to continue the journey. We say a kind word, we say a prayer to Hash-m, we give them a hug. They feel they have a friend. They feel loved.

This is why the elders make that declaration “We did not spill this blood.” We assume the person on the road met bandits or other danger (that was common at that time) and they did not have the emotional fortitude to put up a fight and thus succumbed to their wounds. If the elders saw the person and accompanied them – perhaps the person would still be alive today.

Thus – for us – we can learn – lift up people.Any person you meet – Don’t spare kind words. Don’t spare your smile. Lift them up. Lift yourself up & you can better lift others up. Lift up others with you.

(I didn’t end with a preposition. 🙂 )

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