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Protect Your Roof for Yourself!

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Develop Your Potential from Deuteronomy 22:8

כִּ֤י תִבְנֶה֙ בַּ֣יִת חָדָ֔שׁ וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ מַעֲקֶ֖ה לְגַגֶּ֑ךָ

"When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof."

After the Jewish people moved in the land, with the necessary struggle, the people had to start building houses, new houses to live in. They had to make a trellis on their roofs for protection so that no one could fall off.

It is notable that the emphasis is placed on the house - that is, on the person of the house - that he does not bring a blood penalty upon himself. There is no emphasis on protecting one's neighbour.

This is actually not so strange. After all, if something happens to someone, it happens to him by the hand of Heaven. (But we should beware that it is not because we have failed to do something, and of course, from a different point of view, we also keep the interests of our neighbour in mind).

Beit בית, is your home, your heart, containing a worthy place for G-d. ((Represented by the Yud י - the first letter of G-d's four-letter Name).

After we as Noahide have had our fair share of struggles with our past, with our old habits and customs and sometimes quite literally with our family and friends, we start building a new home. A house that will be found worthy to be G-d's dwelling place.

In this newly discovered life space, we still need to learn many new things and unlearn old ones in the process. This unlearning is often easiest by being just a little bit stricter on yourself than we are really obliged to be.

The trellis is put on one's own house, not on someone else's house. We do not have to judge another person harshly, just the opposite. We need to be patient with someone's learning process. Giving him space to develop.

Sources: Sefaria


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.

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