We are instructed to vigorously assist ('azov ta'azov imo') someone
struggling to overcome his burdens, even if we intensely dislike the
person requiring assistance. (23:5)
Onkeles understands 'azov' in its usual sense of leaving something alone
or leaving something behind - in this case we are to leave our dislike of
the person behind and help him anyway. Rashi, however, states that in this
instance the word 'azov' is to be translated literally as 'assist'. If the
pasuk means 'assist' why does it express itself as 'azov'/leave, which has
almost the opposite connotation?
Parshas B'reishis (2:24) describes the process of a man taking leave
('ya'azov') of his parents and then getting married and establishing his
own family. This implies that, prior to marrying, a man must gain
independence by separating from his parents. The ya'azov/leave of this
pasuk means that he establishes his independence.
There are different levels of motivation one can have in seeking to assist
another person. One level of motive for assisting another may be so as to
have the recipient beholden; I gave him something in his time of need and
now he owes me, or, more profoundly, I have something over him. A higher
motive or reason for assisting another is to enable him to gain or re-gain
his independence so that he is in fact no longer dependent upon me or
other donors. In the case of someone I dislike, my initial reaction to his
need for assistance - if I am going to assist him at all - is likely to
be the crasser motive of wanting to have him beholden to me.
Rashi in Mishpatim understands 'azov'/leave the person in need the same
way as the pasuk in B'reishis, in the sense of giving independence to the
person in need.
Certainly the Torah always wants me to assist others for the higher
motivation or reason. In typical situations the Torah leaves it to me to
conclude that I should strive for the higher motive. However, when
confronted with a situation of helping someone I dislike, the pasuk goes
out of its way to make sure I motivate myself to assist in such a way as
to help the person achieve independence - 'azov ta'azov imo', help him
become independent of need.
[[The above is based primarily on my understanding of a shiur given by
HoRav Yochanan Zweig, Shlita.
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