Being a Good Neighbor
Living in this world means being a neighbor. This fundamental principle is found in the very roots of the Hebrew language. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch: “[The Hebrew word] shachan means both to dwell, and also to be a neighbor… In Jewish thought, to dwell means to be a neighbor. When a Jew takes a place on earth to be his dwelling place he must at the same time concede space and domain to his fellow men for a similar dwelling place.”
Being a good neighbor is a Jewish obligation. It can also be a tremendous challenge. We all have physical needs and wants to satisfy in order to live in this world, but much of what we do to satisfy these needs and wants can negatively impact our neighbors. This is especially true today, with so many people, with so much technology, living on a material level beyond the dreams of our ancestors.
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