Seven Strategies for Surviving the Recession – Strategy 4 – Giving Tzedakah More Generously Than Ever – Rabbi Paysach Krohn

Print This Post Print This Post

Strategy #4: Giving Tzedakah More Generously Than Ever

Chazal teach (Gittin 7a) that if a person sees that money is tight, he should give tzedakah. What does the Gemara mean, “give tzedakah?” If money is tight, how can one give tzedakah?

The answer can be illustrated with the story about a farmer who walked into the post office one day with a heavy package. The postal clerk weighed it and tole him it was too heavy.

“What do you mean, ‘it is too heavy?’ What am I supposed to do?”

“You’ve got to put on more stamps.”

“More stamps?” the farmer said indignantly. “That’s going to make it heavier!”

He did not understand hat is was the stamps that were going to carry it.

It’s the same with tzedakah. If a person sees that his money is tight, he should give tzedakah! Giving tzedakah will merit him to make more money.

I heard another story from a collector who visited a certain well-to-do ma every year. This time he happened to come to him literally on the day that Bear Stearns went under and the fellow lost a fortune. Furthermore, since he hadn’t invested in Bear Stearns, but in a company that invested in Bear Stearns, he had no idea until that evening that his whole retiremet fund was now gone.

It was at that moment that the collector came to him as usual and asked for money.

“Okay, I’m sorry,” the collector replied. “Whatever you want to give me is fine.”

The man wrote a check and handed it to the collector, who did not want to embarrass him, so he folded the check without looking [at] it and exited the front door. Once outside, he looked at the check – and it was double the amount the man usually gave!

He immediately went back and said, “Excuse me, but maybe you don’t remember what you gave last year. You doubled the amount this year!”

“Of course I remember,” he replied. “I can’t give what I gave last year – I’ve got to give more! I need more merit! That’s why I have to give more now!”


Excerpt from “Perspectives of the Maggid.”