Jewish Soul Journey


            Some people think that the blessings attached to giving sedaka are only wishful thinking, but in truth distributing charity is a guaranteed certified “contract” with the “Treasury Administer” of all spiritual as well as material assets. It is stated in the Talmud (Gemora Baba Basra 9b) that if one pursues opportunities to do charity, the Holy One, Blessed be He, provides him with sufficient funds to achieve that lofty goal. Since man was not created for himself but only to help others as much as he is capable, it is stated in the Rambam that G-d provides some men with more than they need to act as His representatives to distribute their surplus funds to the poor. These people are not only administrators of His charity fund but they are His partners in the sustenance of His universe. (Hilchos Matnos Aniyim).

             The Torah encourages a person to perform kind deeds in order to be rewarded. This is in order to demonstrate publicly to one and all that the bounty one reaps from his kindness is as predictable as the harvest the farmer gathers from his planting. The philanthropist should train himself to feel that there is no loss involved in tithing – it is all guaranteed gain. It is not merely permissible to look forward to riches as a result of charity, it is an obligation! (Sefer Tzedakah Treasury by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer).          

            The following true story about Yosef which gives a glimmer of just how speedily and efficiently the charity (sedaka) equation can work: Yosef has spent much of his life learning and teaching Torah. Throughout the years of raising a large family, he experienced first hand how helpful other people’s act of kindness (chesed) helped him to continue his learning. Yosef always yearned to be on the giving side of chesed and now these last few years after he received a considerably large inheritance, he was finally able to give sedaka in a much more substantial way.

        At first it sounded so easy to just start writing larger checks to those in need and the many wonderful charitable institutions, however Yosef began having second thoughts before writing each check on how much and how often he could afford to give away a portion of his new received resources. He noticed that whenever he would think of an amount that he would like to offer, his mind and emotions would gang up on him with a long list of rational concerns like: Are you sure you can afford so many generous donations after all he had a long list of both foreseen and potentially unexpected needs and wants for his own growing family. In the end Yosef often found himself writing the checks for about half the amount that he would originally think of giving.

                  One day Yosef decided to invest a large sum of money into the stock market. The particular stock which he chose to invest in had depreciated greatly in the last year and Yosef felt that it was now greatly undervalued. With trepidation Yosef bought the huge amount of shares at the end of the trading day. The next morning just after Yosef finished praying (dovening) he noticed a very pious Jew (yid) in the synagogue (schull) who the previous Pesach he had given a sizable check to and therefore Yosef once again decided that since it was less than two weeks before the Jewish Holidays (Yom Tov) and the money would be will spent by such a righteous person he thought of writing this righteous person (tzadik) a very generous size check. In those same moments Yosef saw another (impressive) chashuver yid learning with such a love and earnestness that he once again couldn’t help but feel this fellow Jews sincerity and deep connection with G-d (Hashem) and His Torah and once again thought of writing him a very generous amount, however by now the doubts and compromising starting to descend upon him like a cascading torrential storm, with convincing questions like: Are you sure you can afford it, after all just yesterday you invested so much money and who knows how much it might go down in value?

               This inner conflict of what he could afford lasted for a few minutes until at nine-thirty A.M., at the same time that the stock market begins its new trading day, Yosef  pushed aside his doubts and fears and wrote a very generous check, for the full amount that he had originally thought of, for each of these pious people. After arriving home Yosef decided to check how the large amount of stock that he had purchased the day just before was doing. Well, by now you probably know how the story ended. Yes, the stock had risen so much in that one hour that he had profited many times more than total amount of the large sedaka checks he had just written. Yosef not only helped those righteous yidden with their Pesach needs but he merited a very handsome profit in the process. Now the connection and relationship of the blessings promised for doing sedaka may not always be so obvious, but we can rest assured that our “Financial Manager of the Universe” always fulfills His end of the bargain.               Happy check writing!   

All articles appearing on this blog are copyrighted by Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Falk. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to share/download/copy this information as long as it is accompanied by the copyright. Separately authored/copyrighted materia

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