2019-12-11

Deuteronomy 15:7-16:8


This reading is from the special Torah reading for Shemini Atzeret. The complete Torah reading for the day is Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17 and Numbers 29:35-30:1. If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. Rather, you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs. Beware lest you harbor the base thought, "The seventh year, the year of remission, is approaching," so that you are mean to your needy kinsman and give him nothing. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will incur guilt. Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so, for in return the Lord your God will bless you in all your efforts and in all your undertakings. For there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land. If a fellow Hebrew, man or woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall set him free. When you set him free, do not let him go empty-handed: Furnish him out of the flock, threshing floor, and vat, with which the Lord your God has blessed you. Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today. But should he say to you, "I do not want to leave you"--for he loves you and your household and is happy with you--you shall take an awl and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall become your slave in perpetuity. Do the same with your female slave. When you do set him free, do not feel aggrieved; for in the six years he has given you double the service of a hired man. Moreover, the Lord your God will bless you in all you do. You shall consecrate to the Lord your God all male firstlings that are born in your herd and in your flock: you must not work your firstling ox or shear your firstling sheep. You and your household shall eat it annually before the Lord your God in the place that the Lord will choose. But if it has a defect, lameness or blindness, any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. Eat it in your settlements, the unclean among you no less than the clean, just like the gazelle and the deer. Only you must not partake of its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. Observe the month of Abib and offer a passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, for it was in the month of Abib, at night, that the Lord your God freed you from Egypt. You shall slaughter the passover sacrifice for the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord will choose to establish His name. You shall not eat anything leavened with it; for seven days thereafter you shall eat unleavened bread, bread of distress--for you departed from the land of Egypt hurriedly--so that you may remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt as long as you live. For seven days no leaven shall be found with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh of what you slaughter on the evening of the first day shall be left until morning. You are not permitted to slaughter the passover sacrifice in any of the settlements that the Lord your God is giving you; but at the place where the Lord your God will choose to establish His name, there alone shall you slaughter the passover sacrifice, in the evening, at sundown, the time of day when you departed from Egypt. You shall cook and eat it at the place that the Lord your God will choose; and in the morning you may start back on your journey home. After eating unleavened bread six days, you shall hold a solemn gathering for the Lord your God on the seventh day: you shall do no work.
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