Shabbat 33 - Rewards - and punishments

The Talmud lists various behaviors leading to beneficial results. While it is true that individual’s rewards may seem incomprehensible, because they are complicated by his previous lives’ acts, and by the idea that a reward may be given to a person in this world to repay him for the few good deeds he has done, good acts add to his balance, nation’s balance, and the world’s balance.

When one hates others for no reason, not because they have committed reprehensible acts, but just because he does not like them, he does not have peace in his own household. This is logical: since he does not want peace for others, he is deprived of it himself. Conversely, when he genuinely loves others, he is rewarded with peace and long life in his family.

If people are not charitable, if they withhold what is due the kohen’s and the poor, skies are withheld from giving due and rain, prices increase, and men run after their livelihood but fail to achieve it. Conversely, a charitable nation is blessed with wealth. The source for this is in Job: " The dry and the warm season steal the waters of the dry season ." What is the connection? - Because of things that are done in warm season, that is, separation of the kohen’s and poor people’s portions from the crop - if it is not done - the waters of snow will be stolen from you in winter, the time of beneficial rains in Israel. For charitable behavior, one is promised a blessing "without limit," literally, "without enough", which mean that his lips will tire of saying "enough."

Other important practices include speedy and fair judgments, not being attracted to robbery and murder, faithfulness and trust.

Art: Charles Haigh-Wood - The Peace Offering