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Deuteronomy Chapter 15 | Parsha: Re'eh

1Every seventh year you shall practice remission of debts. 2This shall be the nature of the remission: every creditor shall remit the due that he claims from his fellow; he shall not dun his fellow or kinsman, for the remission proclaimed is of the Lord. 3You may dun the foreigner; but you must remit whatever is due you from your kinsmen.

4There shall be no needy among you—since the Lord your God will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a hereditary portion— 5if only you heed the Lord your God and take care to keep all this Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day. 6For the Lord your God will bless you as He has promised you: you will extend loans to many nations, but require none yourself; you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you.

7If, however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kinsmen in any of your settlements in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. 8Rather, you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs. 9Beware lest you harbor the base thought, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is approaching,” so that you are mean to your needy kinsman and give him nothing. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will incur guilt. 10Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so, for in return the Lord your God will bless you in all your efforts and in all your undertakings. 11For there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land.

12If a fellow Hebrew, man or woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall set him free. 13When you set him free, do not let him go empty-handed: 14Furnish him out of the flock, threshing floor, and vat, with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today.

16But should he say to you, “I do not want to leave you”—for he loves you and your household and is happy with you— 17you shall take an awl and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall become your slave in perpetuity. Do the same with your female slave. 18When you do set him free, do not feel aggrieved; for in the six years he has given you double the service of a hired man. Moreover, the Lord your God will bless you in all you do.

19You shall consecrate to the Lord your God all male firstlings that are born in your herd and in your flock: you must not work your firstling ox or shear your firstling sheep. 20You and your household shall eat it annually before the Lord your God in the place that the Lord will choose. 21But if it has a defect, lameness or blindness, any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22Eat it in your settlements, the unclean among you no less than the clean, just like the gazelle and the deer. 23Only you must not partake of its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.

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