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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

Become a Good Samaritan

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

When one looks around at all the homeless on our streets, one peers into one of the greatest tragedies of the modern era. It would seem that a society does not qualify to be called a 'Civilized' Society the moment there is one person sleeping on our streets. This is a world wide crisis that clearly has not been solved.

Some would say that the government should be doing more and perhaps there is much truth to that.

However, perhaps the answer lies in the hearts of 'ordinary' citizens, many of whom do have the means to help someone else. Apparently there are 5 million empty bedrooms in Ontario.

It seems as though the solution to this issue lies in more people becoming Good Samaritans as expounded by Rabbi Yeshua long ago in this story...

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Rabbi Yeshua. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied.“How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“You have answered correctly,” Rabbi Yeshua replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Rabbi Yeshua said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite (Jewish religious leader), when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Rabbi Yeshua told him, “Go and do likewise.”

There is a beautiful modern day story of a woman in Kingston, Ontario who became friends with a homeless man. Her and her husband decided to allow this friend to put up a tent in their backyard. They have become good friends and that is one less person who has to sleep on a city street.

And so, it seems that the more who truly open up their hearts and homes, the fewer will there be on our city streets and one day down the road, everyone will have a safe, loving place to rest their head at the end of a day.

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