In Cambodia it is cheaper

Friday, 25 January, 2019 - 7:03 am

 Listen to a… vort (short lesson in Torah). We live it every day.

After the Torah lists in the Ten Commandments, “You shall not covet the house of your fellow, the wife of your fellow and his slave and maidservant and his ox and his donkey,” it adds: “And anything that belongs to your fellow.” Why does one need this general statement after all the details given before?

The pasuk comes to teach us a rule for life: If you want something that your fellow person has, there is no problem – you’ll get it, but then you’ll also have to accept everything that person has – it’s a package deal.

I heard that in Cambodia the fee of cleaning ladies went up recently from 25 cents per hour to 75 cents. Here in Basel we pay about 25 dollars per hour, and that definitely can be a cause for envy. Who wouldn’t covet the possibility of paying so little for this service? But precisely at that moment the Torah comes and says, “No problem, you’ll get a cleaning lady at 75 cents per hour, but for that you’ll have to go live in Cambodia – ‘anything that belongs to your fellow’.”

A package deal.

By the way, Cambodia seems to me to be a lovely place.

And when your child says “I want a bicycle like he has,” I reply, “No problem, you’ll get it. But then you’ll get his parents as well.”

As it is said, “and anything that belongs to your fellow.”


May we be successful in our endeavors,


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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