Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states: “This is my God, and I will glorify Him” (Exodus 15:2).
What is the practical application of this verse?
The Talmudic sage, Abba Shaul, commented that it means “Emulate Him. Just as God is compassionate and merciful, so too, you should be compassionate and merciful” (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 133b).
The Talmud (Shabbos 133b) writes in reference to this verse, “When you do G-d’s mitzvot (commandments), glorify the mitzvah. Have a beautiful succah, a beautiful lulav, a beautiful shofar, beautiful tzitzit, and a beautiful Torah scroll.” We find the same concept in reference to charity. Rambam writes, “When you give food to a hungry person, give him your best and sweetest food. When you give a needy person clothes, give him your best clothes” (Hilchos Isurai Mizbaiach 7:11).
A poor man once came to Rabbi Seligman Baer Bamberger, Rabbi of Wuerzburg, while he was in the middle of a Talmudic lecture and told him that he needed shoes. Rabbi Bamberger interrupted his lecture and brought a pair of his own shoes for the needy person. One of the students remarked to Rabbi Bamberger that the shoes he gave away were just recently bought and were the best he owned. “Why didn’t you give him an old pair?” asked the student. “The poor man already has torn shoes. I should give him only the best,” was the reply. (Jewish Leaders, p. 194, footnote)