Day 3: Having less at Chanukah, not more

Shmita is justified by torah as a way of ensuring that all will eat, especially the poor (Exodus 23): 
י  וְשֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים, תִּזְרַע אֶת-אַרְצֶךָ; וְאָסַפְתָּ, אֶת-תְּבוּאָתָהּ.
10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and gather in the increase thereof;
יא  וְהַשְּׁבִיעִת תִּשְׁמְטֶנָּה וּנְטַשְׁתָּהּ, וְאָכְלוּ אֶבְיֹנֵי עַמֶּךָ, וְיִתְרָם, תֹּאכַל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה; כֵּן-תַּעֲשֶׂה לְכַרְמְךָ, לְזֵיתֶךָ.
11 but the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of thy people may eat; and what they leave the beast of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
Rather than acquiring more and more (often made from that ever precious resource - oil) this Chanukah, perhaps take time to think about what you have that you do not need or use - could someone else benefit more from what is at the back of your kitchen draw or toy box, or perhaps you have 2 of something that you like but you don’t need? What would society look like if we all had what we needed, and less excess that we can’t utilise?
St. Basil the Great (329-379)
When someone steals a man’s clothes we call him a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who would clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you hoard belongs to the poor. You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor man; you are handing over to him what is his.


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