Monday, February 2, 2009

TZEDOKO (#3)

No other mitzvah evokes as powerful a divine response as tzedakah. It makes sense: you take care of others, and G‑d takes care of you. Our sages taught that tzedakah brings atonement and protects against harsh heavenly decrees, and that giving tzedaka (charity) to the needy opens the way for our prayers to bring us good health, prosperity and happiness.

Tzedakah is one of the greatest mitzvos.
Tzedakah,
however, does not mean merely helping a person with regard to physical matters, like, providing him with food and clothing for his body. Tzedakah also means helping a person spiritually, seeing to it that his soul receives the sustenance that it needs and seeing to it that he does not go around without Torah and good deeds. This is one of the most refined and most elevated forms of tzedakah that a person can perform.

The Baal Shem Tov once said, "a soul comes into the world and lives for seventy, eighty years, for the purpose of doing a favor to a Jew in physical and particularly spiritual matters." Your aid to another may be the fulfillment of your mission in life, the reason why your soul was sent down to this earth.

Tzedakah
is said to be equivalent to all the mitzvot. Our compassion for the needy and downcast evokes a reciprocal compassion from Heaven, thus hastening the days to our redemption.

2 comments:

arnie draiman said...

very nice, very powerful. you wrote: "Tzedakah also means helping a person spiritually, seeing to it that his soul receives the sustenance that it needs and seeing to it that he does not go around without Torah and good deeds."

are there specific text sources for this (Torah, Talmud, Rambam, etc.)?

thanks.

arnie draiman
www.mitzvahheroesfund.org
www.draimanconsulting.com

mishmum said...

Thank you. And yes, check this out -
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/111268/jewish/Spiritual-Assistance.htm


Hope it's helpful.