Mitzvot Bein Adom Lechaveiro -

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Resource Type: Discussion in: English
Age: 12-17
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal

To get people to be nicer to each other

To realise that it isnt just a nice idea to be nice to each other but so much more

To learn that without loving yourself first there is no mitzvah

Resource Contents

Hila Hatuel

May 2, 2004 - Tali Hatuel, 34, and her daughters - Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2 - of Katif in the Gaza Strip were killed when two Palestinian terrorists fired on an Israeli car at the entrance to the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif. 

Tali Hatuel and her four daughters were killed when two Palestinian terrorists fired on an Israeli car at the entrance to the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif. They were on their way to campaign against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan. Their white Citroen station wagon spun off the road after the initial shooting, then the attackers approached the vehicle and shot the occupants dead at close range. The Hatuels' car was riddled with bullets, and the carpet inside was stained with blood. On the car was a bumper sticker saying, "Uprooting the settlements, victory for terror."

Another Israeli civilian, a resident of Ohad in the Eshkol region, traveling in a separate car, suffered moderate gunfire wounds and two soldiers were wounded before the terrorists were killed. Fatah and Islamic Jihadclaimed joint responsibility for the attack.

Tali, originallyfrom Ashkelon, settled with her husband David in Katif12 years ago.As a social worker for the Gaza Coast Regional Council, it was she whowould comfortfamilies of terror victims on the death of their loved ones.Tali was eight months pregnant, and was looking forward to the birth of her first son. The three older girls studied at a school in Atzmona where there father, David Hatuel is the principal.

Standing over the shrouded bodies of his wife and daughters, David Hatuel asked for their forgiveness for spending time away from home lobbying against the plan to pull out from Gaza. "On Friday the girls drew me a picture and wrote 'Daddy, we are proud of what you are doing for the home where we were born'," he said. "You were my flowers and I will not forget you," he said, and added, "Tali wasa woman of valor. All the responsibility for the familywas on her shoulders."

Tali Hatuel and her four daughters - Hila, Hadar, Roni, and Merav - were laid to rest side by side in Ashkelon.

Nine years ago I walked up to the Bima in Stanmore shul to lein Parshat Vayeira, my Barmitzvah sidra. A day later I had one of the most unbeleivable parties ever thanks to my amazing parents but as is traditional for these Jewish affairs I gave a Dvar Torah. As I was only 13 my brother prepared a the Dvar Torah for me. Somehow in the Dvar Torah I managed to turn everything on its head and get my parents to thank me for allowing them to make such a big party for me all because of one message given over in the Sidra? Lets try and work out what I am talking about.

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Bereishit Chapter 18
1 The Lord appeared to him by the plains of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot. 2 Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground, 3 he said, "My lords, if it please you, do not go on past your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the tree. 5 And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may refresh yourselves; then go onseeing that you have come your servant's way." They replied, "Do as you have said." 6 Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Quick, three seahs of choice flour! Knead and make cakes!" 7 Then Abraham ran to the herd, took a calf, tender and choice, and gave it to a servant-boy, who hastened to prepare it. 8 He took curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree as they ate.

v Why do you do good things to other people?

v Do you do it for yourself or do you do it for them?

If you are doing it for the sake of the other person why did Hashem send three angels, who dont eat or drink, for Avraham to be a host to and feed them etc?

Ok this may sound a bit ludicrous or even heretical but when you do something good for someone else you are actually doing it for yourself. This is why my parents thanked me for providing them with the opportunity to perform such a great mitzvah of providing myself and lots of other people with an amazing evening.

Anyway as we are talking about the idea of Bein Adam Lechaveiro it is probably a good idea to bring down the principal source on this subject:



Love your neighbour as yourself

Vayikra 19:18

Now following on from the egocentric look at the idea of doing good deeds to others because YOU want to lets look at Whitney Houstons interpretation of the Pasuk above. (Ok maybe she wasnt intending on interpreting this Pasuk when saying this idea but the principle is still there). Everyone knows the song The Greatest Love of All, which in my opinion is a song which has an unbelievable line in that everyone misses Learning to love yourself - it is thegreatest love of all

What is this nutcase on learning Torah concepts from a Whitney Houston song?

Look back at the Pasuk again Love your neighbour as YOURSELF! If you dont love yourself then how can you fulfil what Rabbi Akiva calls the main principle of the Torah? Once you have worked out how to love yourself only then can you apply the same love toothers. 

How far does the extent of the word YOURSELF extend?

A Wise man wrote When I hear of the death of one of my friends, I feel as if I lost a limb A true friend will love his friend as he loves himself. A true friend will suffer harm for the benefit of his friend Friendship should endure in all its strength and never diminish for any reason. He should love his friend at time of poverty more than at times of wealth;
at times of trouble more than at times of comfort.

Meiri on Proverbs 17:17

We all know that this level of friendship is a level that is extremely difficult to reach. Well even if you dont, Hillel did:

On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole of the Torah while I stand on one foot. Thereupon he repulsed him with a builders cubit that was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour: that is the whole of the Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.

Shabbat, Daf 31a.

Hillel doesnt quote the Pasuk quoted above, he changes to something slightly different, What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. Instead of having to have to do a physical action all he is saying is to not be horrible to other people. Even if we cant reach the level the Torah sets out, we should then start at the level that Hillel spells out for us.

Deep down, we know when we are doing something that isnt quite right. All our lives are spent interacting with other people, and we should constantly be aware of how we are acting and treating others. We dont even need to do this on a huge scale just think small. All we need to do is make a start, and think about our circle of friends and close family. Consider how we would like to be treated, and that is how we should act towards others.

And just to finish off with a very famous but very apt quote:

At first I tried to change the whole world but I failed, then I tried to change all the people in my neighbourhood but failed again. I then tried to change my street and then my family and friends and failed again. Finally I realised that first I must change myself and only then can I change others Rabbi Yisrael Salanter (I think)

Concentric circles it is as simple as that. We really do have to go out and help the rest of the world and we have to get that message over to the chanichim but first make sure that we are good people and that we care about ourselves first.



Any sort of game that involves one person having to do something for someone else to win (make up your own rules)

Blindfolded obstacle course Having to rely on your friends

Give out lots of sweets to one person and see what they do!


Timeltable of day and see how much of it involves interaction with friends

Scrupples Situations of when you need help from friends or they need you but you could go to a football match intstead etc... What do you do?

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