All good relationships are built on trust. Business. Friendship. Romantic. Spiritual.
Whether we are the ones being trusted, or the ones compelled to trust, without the element of trust there is no meaningful relationship.
This week’s Parsha follows the giving of the Torah. While Moses is still on Mount Sinai, he learns the series of laws, referred to as “Mishpatim”. The laws of justice. Among these laws are the details pertaining to borrowing.
The whole concept of lending and borrowing relies on the integral element of trust. A healthy society needs trust to function.
The Torah instructs that when someone borrows an item, he is liable and must return it or pay damages. The Torah recognizes the legal rights of the lender and borrower, and Jewish law enforces the expectation of trust. The transaction is recognized in Jewish law as valid, and we learn the importance and validity of a society and an economy built on trust.
A shared economy is a better economy: Sharing reduces waste, encourages community, and leverages resources already available. In order for a shared economy to work there needs to be trust, and having the Torah guarantee accountability is crucial.– Rabbi Shmulik Yeshayahu
Each one of us has a responsibility to act in a way that builds a healthy, trusting society. We need to act in ways that show strangers, acquaintances, friends, business associates, loved ones, and G-d that we trust them and can be trusted.
When we lend to others, or borrow from others – with no strings attached – there is a beautiful message of trust that is shared.