The Mitzva (commandment) to not stand over your brother’s blood obligates us to do our utmost to help our fellow man in his time of need. Thus far we have seen how this includes helping him if he is in physical danger or faces financial loss.
In truth, the Mitzva encompasses all kinds of situations in which a person may be in need in some kind of help. It is instructive to specify a number of common life situations in which this Mitzva applies.
– If a person is experiencing emotional difficulties then it is incumbent on us to try to help him, either by giving his advice or suggesting a suitable course of action to help his situation.
– If one is struggling with earning a livelihood then those around him should strive to help him find ways of earning more money.
– If a couple are experiencing marital difficulties then we should do what we can to help them improve their relationship. For example, suggesting a possible counselor who can help them resolve their difficulties.
– If a person is struggling in a spiritual sense, then we should try to encourage him in his good deeds and observance of Mitzvos. However, one should be careful not to do this in an aggressive way, rather with love and care.
– If a person is not succeeding in school or college then we should look for ways to help him.
– If a person is associating with the wrong kind of people then we should find ways to help protect him from being badly influenced.
With a little thought we can all think of people that we know who are experiencing one or more of the difficulties enumerated above. It is not sufficient to merely feel bad for them rather it is our responsibility to strive to do whatever we can to lighten their burden.
Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org