Getting or Giving?

Parasitism (social offense)

Social parasitism is a pejorative that is leveled against a group or class which is considered to be detrimental to society. The term comes from the ancient Greek παράσιτος (parásitos), “one who lives at another’s expense, person who eats at the table of another,” used to label the social offender. (The English language borrowed the word/concept “parasite” as a social label in the 1530s; the later use of “parasite” as a biological metaphor developed from the early 17th century.)
For example, the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky was charged with social parasitism by the Soviet authorities in a trial in 1964, who found that his series of odd jobs and role as a poet were not a sufficient contribution to society.

When the Alter of Novorodok wrote his sefer, being a parasite was considered a serious crime in Russia. Many Jews were found guilty of this crime as they were barred from many forms of employment and had to live off a charity. So he wrote as follows:

Someone who lives with bitachon doesn’t have to concern himself with living off of others as he knows he is really only receiving from Hashem.

In fact, it may very well be because of him that others have.

If we look at the story of Rava and his guest, it is very possible that because the guest had bitachon for wine and chicken, that is the only reason it came. In fact, most likely the guest shared the chicken and wine with Rava. Anything could have happened that would have prevented Rava’s sister from bringing the meal.

When someone relies on bitachon, they are not taking, they may be giving.

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