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    What are you worth? – B’chukkotai

    person man question markB’chukkotai has a procedure for working out the financial value of a human being (Lev. 27:2). Once the sum has been quantified, one can dedicate that amount to the sanctuary.

    The way to assess a person’s worth depends on factors like your age and whether you are male or female – i.e. what your value to society is deemed to be.

    These days the question of one’s value comes into the consideration of whether to utilise scarce medical resources for a particular patient.

    Do we say, “After all, the patient is a doctor/a lawyer/an educator – and society would suffer if they weren’t there?” Do we say, “After all, isn’t every human being made in the image of God, so why does it matter that the patient is a street sweeper/a house cleaner/or any other seemingly lowly occupation?”

    In an ideal society there would be enough medical resources for everyone and this problem wouldn’t arise. In the meantime we each have to ask the question, “What do I do for the community? Would I be missed if I weren’t there?”

    In that respect it doesn’t matter what your job is or how old you are or whether you’re male or female. What really measures your worth is whether you have found an opening for communal service, regardless of whether you are paid for your effort.

    One of the greatest contributions is simply being there when you are needed.

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