Yitro: Chapter 23

"You shall not have"


We learn that when a man is circumcised he enters into the covenant established by Abraham. However this is only a beginning, for he must also obey the commandments of the Torah in order to enter the grade of Adam. Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Chizkiyah speak about how vital to their understanding is the wisdom of Rabbi Shimon, who is such a light to everyone. Rabbi Shimon, when encountered, teaches them that the prayer of the poor man is more effective than all others, for the poor are nearer to God than anyone else is. He says that God dwells in broken vessels, in those who are broken-hearted and humble, and that if we harm the poor we wrong the Shechinah.