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Tzedakah

Tzedakah

29 Rewards for Giving Tzedakah

Published on Wednesday September 8th, 2021

Tzedakah (charity) is one of the pillars on which the world rests. This mitzvah has the strength to forgive sins and repel all bad decrees. It is the only mitzvah that can be accomplished by asking G-d to grant us a request in return.

The book Taharat Hakodesh quotes 29 characteristics from this mitzvah:

1. It accelerates the Redemption,

2. It is bigger than the sacrifices,

3. It unveils new strengths for the Divine Service,

4. It salvages from the judgment of hell,

5. It protects from any future sufferings,

6. It provides life, wealth and awards,

7. It offers six blessings (and eleven blessings to the one who comforts the poor),

8. The one who always tries to give tzedakah will always have the merit of continuing to do so,

9. Whoever gives tzedakah to a scholar deserves to have a share in his Torah!

10. It is more important than welcoming the divine splendor,

11. It is more important than the building of the Temple,

12. It makes miracles happen,

13. It cancels bad decrees,

14. It enables the spiritual repairs that man must make,

15. It saves from death and extends life,

16. It brings abundance to the world,

17. The impact of tzedakah never disappears,

18. He who incites others to give, receives the same merit as each of them and is called a tzaddik!

19. This mitzvah accompanies the soul after death,

20. Tzedakah protects one’s descendance,

21. The Almighty fulfills the will of those who give tzedakah,

22. One is rewarded for this mitzvah in this world, without drawing on the reward that is reserved for us in the future world,

23. In the same way that we welcome the poor and the guests, we will be joyfully welcomed in the future world,

24. The world is dependant on tzedakah,

25. This mitzvah also entitles us to the future world,

26. It repairs the soul,

27. It leads man on the right path,

28. It fights off the accusers, and the prayer of the donor will be accepted,

29. It warrants having righteous, learned and rich childrené

By comprehending the great merit of tzedakah, we can understand that there are righteous people who give twenty percent of their income for tzedakah!

To deserve all of these blessings, one must give discreetly, with a clean heart and without pursuing personal glory. However, if giving in front of others, which may motivate them to do so as well, one has to do it. We will work to purify our thoughts and give lishma, that is, for the glory of G-d.

Story

The story goes that there once was a man who decided to prepare his future world. He gathered currencies of different countries as well as various precious materials. In his will he asked to be buried together with all his coins.

After his death, our friend arrived in the afterlife and started looking for food. He saw a stand where food was distributed and requested a meal. The angels asked him if he had anything to pay with and he offered them euros. To his disappointment, the attendants refused this money so he tried to give dollars and even shkalim. But the angels remained firm. They did not know these currencies. Similarly, the yen and Swiss francs were unknown to them. Our companion was very embarrassed and tried to offer them gold and silver bars, but they were also refused.

He was truly disappointed when he saw that the angels did not know diamonds either. The gems he carefully wrapped in a small piece of paper were his last resort. Our friend was helpless!

But at that moment, the angels pointed out to him that he had dropped the paper wrapping the diamonds. They exclaimed: "This paper can serve you, here it is the currency that exists". The crumpled piece paper was a receipt of a donation he had made to a Torah institution.

This parable shows us how to conceive of the idea of tzedakah. We must not be reluctant to give a lot of money, but instead we must take advantage of every opportunity we have to give. Those who wish to accumulate merits, seek to give all to the poor and the leaders of Torah institutions. Tzedakah is something that is ours for eternity. Our elders say: "The poor do more good to the rich than the opposite." On the other hand, there is nothing to fear because the Shulchan Aruch promises that no one will become poor by giving tzedakah.

The Value of Giving to the Right Place

The custom of giving ten percent of one’s income is no longer a restriction, but a goal to be achieved with joy and eagerness. Some give twenty percent! The elders tell us that whoever gives accordingly will become rich (except for specific cases which need to be studied).

The Talmud teaches us that the incomes and losses of each of us are determined at the beginning of the year. However, everything donated to tzedakah will be deducted from the loss account. Here is another reason to give to charity!

Let’s take into account that we must pray in order for our donations to be a mitzvah and not the other way around. Some institutions collect money in order to distribute televisions, they organize mixed entertainment, or other programs prohibited by the Torah, and there is obviously no virtue in such donations. The mitzvah is to give to people who are really in need, and especially to scholars or Torah families because our money will not cause them sin, but rather to do mitzvot! It is also possible to give to Torah associations. (Consult a Rav for the best places to perform this mitzvah).

The mitzvah of tzedakah is not limited to giving money. It is also about helping our brothers in all their needs [We don’t have to specifically seek mitzvot outside of our own home. There is often a lot of chesed (kindness) to do with one's spouse, parents and children...].

Rav Emmanuel MIMRAN - © Torah-Box

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