Parshat Ki Teitzei – Paying Workers On Time

By Shalom Olensky


This week in the Torah:

The commandment to pay a worker on time.


Since G-d fulfills the Torah as well, how come G-d does not pay a person for serving Him, after every Mitzvah?

Some commentaries answer:

Since a person’s whole life makes up one single mission to serve G-d, G-d is not “obligated” to pay until the end of “the job” – one’s life.


The above resolution is satisfactory according to Maimonides, who explains the reward for a person’s life work as that G-dly bliss which is experienced mainly in the higher spiritual plane, in the afterlife. But according to Nachmanides, who is of the opinion that the true reward for a person’s divine service is in this physical world, in the future when the soul returns to its body at the resurrection of the dead, how can G-d delay a person’s reward till that time, much after the culmination of his work for G-d?


Humanity as a whole, from Adam till the Messianic Era, is one unit which is charged with one collective mission; to make the world into a place that is a welcoming home for G-d. Each and every person has his or her part to play in this collective work. Since the job will only be completed with the coming of Moshiach, therefore G-d will pay His workers when the job is finished.


We are partners with G-d in fulfilling His “dream-world”; He uses our capabilities to further His desires. In such a case, the Torah law is that the master must care for the partner/worker and provide him all he needs for his effort and his sustenance. So too, since G-d fulfills the Torah, He “must” provide for our every need.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. 29, Ki Seitzei)


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