By Rabbi Shmuel Gluck
The Medrash (2/29) says: Ma Ro’oo Moshe Litein Nafsho Al Orei Miklot? Why did Moshe Rabbeinu undertake to separate the Orei Miklot, (safe cities), despite the fact that they wouldn’t take effect until after he died? Omar Rav Levi, Mi She’o’chal Es Hatavshil Hu Yodea Ta’amo. Rav Levi explains it using an analogy. He who ate the dish knows what it tastes like. When Moshe Rabbeinu escaped from Pharaoh, and went into exile, he understood the challenges of running from city to city, without a “safe” place to which to run. As a result of his personal experiences, he undertook to begin the Orei Miklot process, in order to help other people who will be going through the same experience in the future.
I believe that Moshe Rabbeinu’s desire to create Orei Miklot wasn’t emotional. His motivation wasn’t because he felt bad for those requiring an Orei Miklot. Moshe was the ultimate Nosei B’ol Im Chavero, someone who felt everyone’s burden, whether or not, he personally experienced it (Chochma U’mussor). Moshe undertook the Orei Miklot project because of his personal experience.
People who have personal experiences, are morally responsible to share them, and to help others with similar experiences.
People who have personal experiences are morally responsible to share them and to help others with similar experiences. For example, people who were poor, and required Tomchei Shabbos services, and then became wealthy, should give a more significant portion of their Tzedaka to Tomchei Shabbos, than to other worthy organizations whose services they haven’t used.
People can have different natures. I’ve dealt with several wealthy people who insisted on giving their Tzedaka elsewhere, despite the undeniable fact that Areivim was successful in “turning” their children around. People are embarrassed to “owe” others and choose to deny their experiences. Instead, they should realize their personal obligation to help everyone who shares their experiences, whether it’s by donating their money, time, expertise, or even just listening and sharing their burdens.
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