“I will tell you the kind of day I want—a day to set people free. I want a day that you take the burdens off others. I want a day when you set troubled people free and you take the burdens from their shoulders.
On the contrary, isn’t this the kind of fast that I would choose: to loosen the chains of wickedness, to tear apart the ropes of a yoke, to release the oppressed so they go free, and to tear every yoke to pieces?
“I will tell you the kind of fast I ·want [have chosen]: ·Free the people you have put in prison unfairly [L Release the chains/bonds of wickedness] and ·undo their chains [or untie the ropes from the yoke]. Free ·those to whom you are unfair [the oppressed] and ·stop their hard labor [L break every yoke].
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
Is not the time without eating which I choose, a time to take off the chains of sin, and to take the heavy load of sin off the neck? Is it not a time to let those who suffer under a sinful power go free, and to break every load from their neck?
Is not this the tzom that I have chosen? To loose the chartzubbot resha (chains of wickedness, injustice), to undo the aguddot motah (bindings of the yoke bar), and to let the retzutzim (oppressed ones) go as chafeshim (free ones), and that ye break kol motah (every yoke of oppression)?
Whether not this is more the fasting, which I choose? Unbind thou the bindings together of unpity, either of cruelty, release thou [the] burdens pressing down; deliver thou them free, that be broken, and break thou each burden. (Rather, is not this the fast, which I would choose? To unbind the bindings up of pitilessness, or of cruelty, to release the burdens of oppression, to set free those who be broken, and to break each burden.)
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