The laws contained in the Torah, and in this week’s Parsha, Ki Tetzei, extend far beyond rules of keeping kosher and keeping shabbat. A number of the 74 laws contained in the parsha discuss our interactions with other humans. One of these laws states “When you build a new house, you shall make a guard rail for your roof, so that you shall not cause blood [to be spilled] in your house, that the one who falls should fall from it [the roof]” (Deuteronomy 22:8).
In this reminder, the Torah states one of the lessons we discussed during my experience on the Yahel, that in any situation we must consider both the costs and benefits of our actions. Building a house is a wonderful, renewing action, but we must also consider the impact it has on others. Through this consideration we can hope that our actions have a greater impact, and we can hope to maximize the benefits and minimize the cost.