Hostage Release, Rabbeinu Bachya

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    • Partners in Prayer 5 months ago

      Rabbeinu Bachya offers an explanation in his sefer, Kad Hakemech, for one of the reasons that the Mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, the redemption of captives, is considered the greatest mitzvah in the Torah. 

      Generally this is understood because the captive faces the most harsh circumstances. It includes hunger, death, deprivation of basic needs, danger, and many other devastating conditions.  The Rambam in Mishneh Torah lists several mitzvos that are included, for example, Do not harden your heart or close your hand, Do not stand by when the blood of your neighbor is in danger, and many more. 

      However, Rabbeinu Bachya offers an additional profound insight into this Mitzvah and why it is considered so great. 

      He teaches us that it is actually an opportunity of praise to Hashem, as He Himself is The Redeemer of Israel.  He prioritizes this Mitzvah in the first Utterance, in the Aseres Hadibros, when He says to us, Anochi.. I am the One Who took you out of Mitzrayim.

      This takes precedence to even telling us about He is The Creator of heaven and earth. He therefore, made it a Mitzvah, and are walking in His Ways, emulating Him when we participate in this lofty Mitzvah.  When we emulate Him, we are actually attaching to Hashem. 

      I think that learning about the first Directive of Hashem, of “Anochi” can help us better understand and hear what He wants from us, in this Mitzvah we are presented with at this moment. 

      In the same way Avraham Avinu taught the mitzvos to Eliezer as his way of preparing himself to free Lot from captivity,  we too can prepare, and participate in this great mitzvah by working on understanding this mitzvah, and help us strengthen our prayers for the release of the hostages, and the final redemption of all Biezras Hashem. 


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