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Mitzvah #71

Sefer Ha’mitzvos Ha’Katzar (The concise book of mitzvos)
By the Chofetz Chaim

This book lists the Torah mitzvos that can be observed today

First Section – the Positive Commandments

71. It is a positive commandment to help your friend load items on an animal or on a human

As it states in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:4, "You shall lift, you shall surely lift with him." If a person left his friend without helping him, he has negated a positive commandment. An elderly person, for which it is not honorable to help, is exempt. But if he would have done this for his own items, then he is required to help his friend. If he wants to go beyond the letter of the law and help load and unload when he is exempt, a blessing will be upon him.

If in front of the person is the commandment to load and the commandment to unload, unloading takes precedence because of the suffering of the animal. But if the person needing the items loaded is an enemy and the other person is someone he loves, the commandment is to help his enemy load first. This is so he overcomes his bad impulses. The enemy that is spoken about here means that the helper saw this person commit a sin when there were no other witnesses. Also, he has warned this other man about the crime of doing this sin, but the other person still has not stopped doing the sin. Then it is a commandment to hate the person. Nevertheless, one should help him load and unload with him, because perhaps the person will delay because of his money and come into a dangerous situation. Therefore, it is fitting to save him since he does believe in the main ideas of our faith.

Loading is only required when the person pays him wages for it. A person is not required to do this for free.

These two commandments of loading and unloading are required in all places and at all times, for men and for women.

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