Love of the Land

For the week ending 11 March 2006 / 11 Adar I 5766

Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“All who strive with the community should do it for the sake of Heaven, for the merit of their forefathers helps them succeed and their righteousness is everlasting; and you will be rewarded as if you did it by yourselves” — Rabban Gamliel, the son of Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi (Avot 2:2)

Those who mobilize a community to perform a mitzvah, such as giving charity or ransoming captives, should do so only for the sake of Heaven and not for any personal honor. If they have proper intentions, the merit of the community’s forefathers will help them reach whatever goal they set, even if it is a great sum of money. The righteousness achieved by the community will last forever, and all who have worked to motivate it will be regarded as if they had done it with their own funds.

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