Today 21st Av, 5769 – eMussar Lesson –
Giving and Receiving
eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.
AROUND THE SHABBOS TABLE\PARSHAS RE’AH
In your heart of hearts-when you give tzedakah-how should you feel towards the recipient? It is conceivable that, depending on circumstances, at times you might feel somewhat distressed at giving away your money. Yet, the Torah (Devarim 15:10) advises us: You shall surely give him, and let your heart not feel bad when you give him, for in return for this matter, Hashem, your G-d will bless you in all of your deeds and in all of your endeavors.
The message of this verse is that the giver of tzedakah should not feel bad because Hashem will bless him for his benevolence.
Why does the Torah reverse the roles? It is the poor man – devoid of funds and suffering financial woes – who is need of a blessing. If so, why does the Torah grant a blessing to the wealthy man? Wouldn’t it suffice, to alleviate the reservations of the wealthy man, if HaShem simply assured him that he is performing a righteous act? Hence, let Hashem bless the poor man; let the giver retain his wealth; and may HaShem provide both of them with their needs.
The solution to this question is that the Torah is revealing a hidden truth: The act of kindness in not performed by the giver; rather, the act of kindness is performed by the receiver! This notion is counter-intuitive. How can a receiver give?
If the giver of tzedakah is blessed for giving to the poor person – then in actuality – the source of the blessing is the poor man. This is so, because without the recipient, no blessing would be awakened for the benefactor. Hence, the poor man is the genesis for HaShem to place His blessing on the wealthy man.
Through providing us with acts of kindness to perform, HaShem grants us an opportunity to find favor in His eyes. Therefore, when we give of ourselves to others, we should not imagine that we are helping them. On the contrary, all the blessings that HaShem wants to bestow upon the benefactor emanates from the beneficiary. As the Midrash states: More than the wealthy man helps the poor person – the poor person helps the wealthy man!
[Based on Ohr RaShaz, The Alter of Kelm, Parshas Re’ah]
TODAY: When you give charity-imagine the recipient is blessing you.
By Rabbi Zvi Miller.
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