“הֲלוֹא פָרֹס לָרָעֵב לַחְמֶךָ וַעֲנִיִּים מְרוּדִים תָּבִיא בָיִת כִּי תִרְאֶה עָרֹם וְכִסִּיתוֹ וּמִבְּשָׂרְךָ לֹא תִתְעַלָּם”
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And do not ignore your own flesh?”
The Zohar tells us that it’s a merit to have a poor person coming to ask us for support. This poor person is a gift from God and those who welcome this gift are rewarded.
Those who have mercy for those in need and support their existence, the Holy One Blessed be He, consider the giver as if he created that soul.
Abraham was had mercy on people and supported them in spiritual and material aspects. It is revealed in Genesis 12:5
“וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָם אֶת שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת לוֹט בֶּן אָחִיו וְאֶת כָּל רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכָשׁוּ וְאֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ בְחָרָן וַיֵּצְאוּ לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיָּבֹאוּ אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן”
“Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the souls which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.”
‘and the souls which they had acquired’. The Torah tells us that even though Abraham was blessed by God, his support of others was considered as if he ‘acquired’ their souls.
Lesson: The spiritual principle here is that each time we do for others and those in need, we actually do it for ourselves. It’s a gift to be able to help others even with the little that we have. The verse above asks us not to ignore our own ‘flesh’ because when we take the opportunity to support others, they become extension of our vessel, energy. We expand our vessels and grow the ability to do more.