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    RAMBAM, MISHNEH TORAH, LAWS OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND ETHICAL CONDUCT 6:10

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    Arik
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    RAMBAM, MISHNEH TORAH, LAWS OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND ETHICAL CONDUCT 6:10

    Post  Arik on Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:24 am

    A person is obligated to show great care for orphans and widows because their spirits are very low and their feelings are depressed. This applies even if they are wealthy. We are commanded to [show this attention] even to a king's widow and his orphans as [implied by Exodus 22:21]: "Do not mistreat any widow or orphan."
    How should one deal with them? One should only speak to them gently and treat them only with honor. One should not cause pain to their persons with [overbearing] work or aggravate their feelings with harsh words and [one should] show more consideration for their financial interests than for one's own.

    Suggested Discussion Questions:
    1. How are we obligated to care for the orphan and widow? Why?
    2. Whom in society do the orphan and widow represent? Do we treat them the way that the Rambam commands us to?


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    Yehudah

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    Re: RAMBAM, MISHNEH TORAH, LAWS OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND ETHICAL CONDUCT 6:10

    Post  Yehudah on Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:25 pm

    We should be clear: Rambam isn't commanding us to do anything, he is mearly explaining why we should based on his vast understanding of Torah and his Rebbes' teachings.

    There are many stories in the Talmud (Bavli) that relate special if not specific treatment of orphans. In meseches Bava Kamma, kaf aleph amud aleph (or kaf beis, can't remember), there is aggadah about a man who was trying to cheat some orphans out of money (property actually), and the Rabbi (can't remember which one) told him to take care to fix the issue; he didn't; Rabbi took his property from him.

    It's one of many many aggadic teachings of the Talmud that specifies treatment of orphans and widows.

    ...wish I could remember exactly which daf the one I'm referencing was in....


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