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This will probably surprise you, but this article isn’t going to tell you how you can help Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) in its fight against Covid-19. We have a fine brochure for that exact purpose. But in true philatelic terms what I am going to do is highlight something ‘rare’.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan what is not widely acknowledged is that there was a distinct racial strain between the Jewish people and the Samaritans. It was rare for them to interact with one another, and in many cases, outright hostility and hatred existed. So you see, whilst it’s perfectly right to applaud the act of the Samaritan as a good deed and one to be emulated, it isn’t just a tale of someone being a ‘good’ neighbour, and frankly that is a completely inadequate explanation of the parable.  Because, it’s also about the great tragedy of how race, religion, creed or political convictions – ‘worldly borders’ – separate those in most need from a source of help.

If we are to understand the parable found in Luke Chapter 10 v25-37 correctly, then we have to appreciate that the message Jesus was telling his disciples was primarily one of compassion for all, regardless of prejudice. If you like, love does not consider the worth of its object, love simply responds to human need.

Perhaps a modern version on this parable, appropriate to our cause, would go something like this:-

There was a certain man who belonged to a group who only wore black clothes, and they despised anyone who dressed in white. One day this man became ill and had difficulty in breathing. Unfortunately he collapsed in the street and lay dying. Now by chance a fellow group member wearing black happened to be coming down the street, but when he saw his fellow group member coughing so violently, he was anxious for his own health and passed him by on the other side of the street.

Likewise a man who was known for his good deeds arrived at the place in the street where the man was struggling to breath, but he too being fearful of the infectiousness of the disease passed by on the other side of the street. But then a person wearing white clothing happened to be travelling through this area and saw the man alone and near to death. He went over to the side of the street where the man in black lay and carried him to a place where there were others also dressed in white, and there they tended to his illness, and over time nursed him to health.

It’s obvious which of the passersby was the ‘good’ neighbor. And of course, the actions of those wearing white are an analogy for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and if we were to use a philatelic analogy for those qualities shown by MSF, then they are the very ‘rare’ seldom seen ones.

So regardless of whether you read the bible or not, the Good Samaritan parable is as relevant today as it was over two thousand years ago. We all see the worldly borders that separate one human being from helping another, and we know it’s wrong. That’s why our Charity Auction gives the opportunity for us to walk down the side of the street which will help those who are alone and need help. If you can get involved with this charity auction, then you’ll be supporting MSF to spread compassion to those who have been passed by and do not have a good neighbor to call upon. It’s a ‘rare’ thing, but love simply responds to human need.

See how you can become involved with David Feldman SA in partnering with Médecins Sans Frontières in its fight against Covid-19 through our RARITIES OF THE WORLD AUCTION in October 2020.