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Mishlei 21-26 (Excess Appetite)

Mishlei 21-26

Excess Appetite

Key Concepts

There are people whose appetite for luxury exceeds their pocketbook. This can become a real problem if they are too lazy or unqualified to do the work required to support the lifestyle they feel they must have. The conflict between resources and wishes can yield tragic results. Where does one find a selfless donor who would be willing to help the family of the man who is the victim of such excessive appetite?

Exploring Mishlei

כו = כָּל הַיּוֹם הִתְאַוָּה תַאֲוָה וְצַדִּיק יִתֵּן וְלֹא יַחְשֹׂךְ

(26) He covets greedily all day long, but a tzadik gives and does not hold back.

A person who lives in a wealthy neighborhood can easily develop an appetite for luxury products. Unfortunately, he needs to throw himself upon the kindness of others if his weak character does not motivate him to do the work required to make ends meet. Mishlei tells us that a completely selfless tzadik may appear on the scene and donate the funds needed to make up for the character flaws in the overextended consumer.

Learning Mishlei

(26)  All day longכָּל הַיּוֹם
the greedy man is driven by his appetiteהִתְאַוָּה תַאֲוָה
and is unable to pay his bills.
Even so, a tzadik donates the needed funds— וְצַדִּיק יִתֵּן.
and he does not hold backוְלֹא יַחְשֹׂךְ.

Additional Insights

[1] The tzadik is able to pay his bills because he avoids committing himself beyond his means. (רבינו יונה)

[2] The tzadik cuts back on his expenses so that he can afford to give charity to the poor. (רבינו יונה)

[3] The tzadik sympatizes with a poverty-stricken person even if his problems are due to the weakness of his own character . (רבינו יונה)

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