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    You can’t opt out – Ki Tetzei

    If you see someone’s animal gone astray, you can’t just hide (Deut. 22:1-13).

    Of course you’re busy. Of course you’re short of time. Of course you have your own problems. Of course you don’t want to get involved. But the Torah leaves no room for opting out: you can’t hide or just walk past.

    You must restore a lost animal to its owner, and in the meantime look after the animal. If someone’s animal has fallen over you have to help lift the animal up again (Deut. 22:4).

    It’s not just animals that you have to concern yourself with, though that is already a unique part of Jewish ethics. It’s your fellow human-being whom you must assist and support. The Golden Rule is to love a neighbour as yourself (Lev. 19:18), equating him to yourself, seeking his welfare as you would seek your own.

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