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I Took Upon Myself to Give 20% of My Money

Published on Sunday May 12th, 2019

Good evening!

Here's my testimonial on the subject of Maasser. It is written that offering a tithe is a good way to become rich. Furthermore, the Mishna in Avot states that the offering of a tithe generates wealth.

10% will bless us with our money, however 20% will make us rich, the part being set aside for the poor and a part of the Torah.

About 12 years ago, during a conversation with a good friend of mine from a seminary in Israel,  I told her how I was happy for her that she could be so at ease, and at the same time owning a car, knowing that her husband was Avrech (one studying the Torah full time), and that she lived very modestly.

She revealed to me that on the day of her wedding, she and her husband had taken it upon themselves to systematically set 20% of their income aside for tzedakah. Ever since, the words of the wise have proven to be true: they now have a very nice apartment in a nice neighborhood in Israel, and her husband continues to devote himself to Torah study!

In seminary, we learned the value of giving up time of study of Torah for the people of Israel, and I had taken it on myself to separate 20% of my income! I decided to do it for a year and afterwards I would continue carefully writing everything in my notebook.

Almost a year later, I received a letter from a lady married without children who was close to me and with whom I stayed in contact with for more than 30 years (from when I started college until her passing). In the letter, she said the following:
"I’ve always put money aside in case my husband passed away, but I never needed this money. I wanted to give it to someone who gives a lot of their time to others without making a big deal out of it. That's why I will mail you this check of 15,000 dollars!”

A few years later, because of a problem in my school, the State paid me 20,000 dollars!

The lady I mentioned earlier became sick, and I went to the other end of France, where there is no kashrut, in order to stay a few days with her. A year later, she passed away and shortly before that, she left me (for our children she said) 36,000 dollars as a reward for my loyalty and support.

These are just a few examples of Hashem’s greatness, lacking no means to fulfill His promise. I could write a book about it. Why are we looking for excuses not to give? Hashem repays us a hundred times more! Over the years, my income has really increased.

Torah institutions would be so much better, if everyone would do this gesture. In addition, it makes us generous and profoundly transforms our being.

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