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Double Standards

Written by Rabbi Moshe Kormornick

Every valuation should be made according to the holy shekel (27:25)

Although this verse is telling us the method by which a valuation was made in those times, Rav Moshe Sternbuch notes that these words can hint towards a deeper concept; one that many of us are guilty of — double standards.

There are often times when we are approached to help someone else financially or with our time or other resources, yet we excuse ourselves. We don’t have the money to help or we’re too busy. Yet, when a more self-gratifying opportunity comes our way, we have all the time in the world to pursue it and can easily find the resources required.

This is particularly true, explains Rav Moshe, when it comes to giving charity. Someone may claim that business is not going so well and therefore they need to cut back on their donations, yet, in their private life they do not make proportional cutbacks. Instead, their deficits fall on others’ shoulders. On this, Rav Moshe quotes the verse above to say that every valuation someone makes for his personal life should be made according to the holy shekel — the same yardstick he uses for mitzvah purposes.

This important message is not limited to businessmen. We all are faced with opportunities to perform mitzvos, help others or learn more Torah, but we excuse the opportunity claiming that we don’t have time or energy. But when it comes to sports, socializing, or even reading the latest news we are easily able to find the time and energy necessary. Therefore, this message is for all of us to apply: Don’t place mitzvah observance, charity or time to learn Torah on a lower standard than that we set to satisfy our own personal needs.

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