Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"Rabbi, am I be obligated to give charity, when I myself am so needy? I barely have enough for myself, how am I expected to help another? Questioned, the man.

"Ah" The Rabbi responded. "Yes, this is one detail in the laws of tzedakah that is somewhat puzzling. The Talmud states that everyone is obligated to give charity, including someone who is needy themselves.

But this law reveals the power of this mitzvah.

The goal of charity is to benefit the giver as much as (or even more than) the receiver. In the development of every human being it is critical that we learn to give. Acts of kindness elevate our character, creating feelings of sensitivity, empathy and humility. When we give to others, we access the infinite power of our soul to reach beyond our limited self and enter the world of another human being. Giving is the ultimate expression of one's human-ness. (Yu'min-nis)

Generosity also brings a sense of fulfillment and inner happiness. It helps us to become a better person, and helps make the world a better place.

When we give, we actually receive more than we gave. Wise Solomon wrote, "When you give to a poor man, you are lending to G‑d." That's because G‑d repays all charitable funds – along with handsome dividends – here, in this world. According to the Prophet Malachi, G‑d even challenges us, saying "Try it and see." ''Test me", G-d says. "Perform the mitzva of Charity, and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you blessings more than enough. You will see your reward in tenfold or more"

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