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My Four and Yours; Gladdening the Hearts of His Four on Yom Tov
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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My Four and Yours

Gladdening the Hearts of His Four on Yom Tov

When describing the Yom Tov festivities, The Torah (Devorim 16:11) states, “You should rejoice before Hashem; you, your son, your daughter, your slave and your maidservant … the Levi, the convert, the widow and the orphan.”

There is a touching and poignant Rashi that so beautifully conveys the theme of assisting those in need with their holiday expenses. Commenting on the pasuk noted above, Rashi points out that the Torah includes eight categories of people who ought to be included in the happiness of our holidays. Four are members of one’s household – the children and the members of one’s staff. The other four listed in the Torah are those who may not have the resources or the safety net of familial support to defray the considerable expenses associated with Yom Tov – the Levi, the convert, the widow and the orphan.

Rashi (Devorim 16:11), quotes two Midrashim and states that Hashem says, “Your four (the members of your household) correspond to My four (those who may be in need). If you gladden the hearts of My four, I will gladden the hearts of your four.”

When we think of His Four, what comes to mind are those who are in financial need. However, there are many people who may be financially well off, but for whom Yom Tov is a challenging time.

Amid the tumult of Pesach preparations, let us all try to remember them and see what we can do help add to their Simchas Yom Tov. Please consider taking a child of a single parent to shul or suggesting a shidduch and/or offering an invitation to an older, unmarried single man or woman in your community.

In the zechus of our gemilas chassodim, may Hashem grant us a Chag Kosher V’samayach, and may we be zoche to the geulah sheleima and the fulfillment of our tefilah of chasal siddur Pesachpeduyim l’tzion berinah; L’shanah Habaa Be’Yerushalayim.

Chag Kosher V’samayach,


© 2009 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved

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