Torah Portion: Mishpatim
If you see the donkey of someone you hate lying under its load… you must make every effort to help him [unload it] (Shemos 23:5).
It is a positive commandment to remove the load from an animal that became weary on the road because of the load it was carrying, as it is written, If you see the donkey of someone you hate lying under its load… you must make every effort to help him [unload it] (Shemos 23:5). “Someone you hate” refers to a Jew, and although Scripture says, Do not hate your fellow in your heart, [our verse] refers to a person whom you saw transgressing a prohibition, in which case it is permissible to hate him. Nevertheless, the Torah commands that we assist him.
Among the roots of the mitzvah is the aim that we train ourselves in the trait of compassion, which is a most praiseworthy trait. Needless to say, we are obligated to have compassion on a person who is physically suffering himself, but the Torah added to this and commanded us to have mercy and save the person even when he is suffering because of financial loss.
It applies in all places and at all times to both men and women. One who transgresses this violates a positive commandment and shows that he is tainted with the trait of cruelty, which is a repulsive trait. And anyone who does not have mercy on people, Heaven has no mercy on him since he deserves no mercy.