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    Cursing the deaf – K’doshim

    One ethical principle after another is enunciated this week: the general – “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev. 19:18), and the specific – e.g. “Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling-block before the blind” (Lev. 19:14).

    The words “deaf” and “blind” are meant both literally and figuratively.

    The literal meaning is obvious, for the blind person cannot see the obstacle that is ahead and the deaf cannot hear the insults that are uttered.

    Figuratively, the blind and the deaf are symbolic of people whom it is easy to take advantage of because of their ignorance or innocence.

    Example: a person comes into your shop and you palm off a poor quality product on them because they simply do not know the difference. If you take advantage of their gullibility you have gravely transgressed the Torah.

    Example: you want to win votes, so you flatter people, manipulate their thinking and lead them to believe you are the solution to their problems.

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