“You shall not see the ox of your brother or his sheep or goat straying far away, and ignore them. You shall surely return them to your brother” (Devarim 22:1). Why does the verse emphasize finding your brother’s ox “far away” from home? We might assume that we are responsible for returning our neighbor’s lost animal only if we find it close to the animal’s home. Therefore, the verse writes, “you shall not see the ox of your brother straying far away.” Even when we encounter our neighbor’s lost sheep far from its home, we are required to make a great effort to bring it home. The Torah requires us to care about our friend’s material possessions. How much more so, must we have mercy on every Jewish soul who has strayed from the path! Moreover, to lovingly restore him to Torah observance, even if it takes a great effort.
Lesson: Most non-observant people today never had the opportunity to learn about Judaism. They are like a lost sheep, who does not know how to return to his flock. Therefore it is a great Mitzvah to have compassion upon them and show them the path of goodness.
Application: Show great pleasantness to all of your fellow Jews. Even if they are far away from observance, reach out to them with sensitivity and love. Invite them to your home for Shabbos to experience the beauty of our holy Torah.
(Based on the commentary of the Chofetz Chaim)