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Elul 15

"You shall love your God" means that you should make the Divine Name beloved (Yoma 86a).

Rabbi Shimon ben Shatach once bought a donkey and found a gem in the carrying case which came with it. The rabbis congratulated him on the windfall with which he had been blessed. "No," said Rabbi Shimon, "I bought a donkey, but I didn't buy a diamond." He proceeded to return the diamond to the donkey's owner, an Arab, who remarked, "Blessed be the God of Shimon ben Shatach."

A non-Jew once approached Rabbi Safra and offered him a sum of money to purchase an item. Since Rabbi Safra was in the midst of prayer at the time, he could not respond to the man, who interpreted the silence as a rejection of his offer and therefore told him that he would increase the price. When Rabbi Safra again did not respond, the man continued to raise his offer. When Rabbi Safra finished, he explained that he had been unable to interrupt his prayer, but had heard the initial amount offered and had silently consented to it in his heart. Therefore, the man could have the item for that first price. Here too, the astounded customer praised the God of Israel.

We have so many opportunities to demonstrate the beauty of the Torah's ethics. We accomplish three mitzvos by doing so: (1) practicing honesty, (2) kiddush Hashem (sanctifying the Divine Name), and (3) making the Divine Name beloved, according to the above Talmudic interpretation of the Scripture.

Today I shall...

try to act in a manner that will make the Divine Name beloved and respected.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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Visitor Comments: 1

(1) Beverly Kurtin, August 25, 2010 10:55 PM

Great

I have had people say, "You're a good Christian for doing that." Excuse me, I tell them, I am a Jew and we are commanded by Gd to be honest in all of our dealings, I was just obeying my Gd. My son called me one day telling me that he was given $10.00 too much when he was at the grocery store. He was about to keep it when he saw me looking at him shaking my head. He gave the $10 back. He could really use the money so I sent him a check. I was proud of him. I've done things that people attributed to my being a "fine Christian." I always use the occasion to give Hashem the credit. Many people think we're "cheap." tight-fisted, etc. It's always an eye opener to show them that we're not what they think of us.

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