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    Rich & poor – M’tzora

    The rules governing offerings depend on a person’s financial means. The law is, “If one is poor and cannot afford (the regular offering), then he shall take…” (Lev. 14:21).

    The sages say that the more economical option is only effective if a person is genuinely poor. A person who can well afford the regular offering will achieve nothing by trying to get away with giving a poor man’s offering.

    The Chafetz Chayyim broadens the discussion by saying that this principle applies to the performance of all the commandments, not just the Biblically-ordained offerings. There are often emergency provisions for people who are not in a position to carry out the full mitzvah.

    When time is pressing, for example, there is a short form of Amidah that can be used. But someone who is not really short of time but is just looking for a bargain, for a minimal way of fulfilling the commandment, is abdicating his responsibility and will not get away with it in the eyes of God.

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