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224. Higher than Giving
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34:11 One receives a greater reward for influencing others to give charity than for giving it himself as per Isaiah 32:17, “The work of charity is peace.” Regarding those who fundraise for charity or manage charity funds, it is said, “Those who turn others to righteousness are like the stars” (Daniel 12:3). A charity fund […]
223. Committing Charity
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34:9 Committing to give charity constitutes making a vow. If one designates a coin for charity, it should immediately be given to the poor. Delaying is a violation of a Biblical injunction (Deuteronomy 23:22). If there are no needy people around, the money must be aside for one. If one makes a pledge in shul, […]
222. Giving with a Bad Attitude
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34:7 If a person gives charity with a negative attitude, even if he gives a huge amount, he loses the merit of the act and violates the Biblical prohibition against begrudging giving charity (Deuteronomy 15:10). One should give charity joyfully, feeling the plight of the needy. We see this from Job, who said “Did I […]
221. Giving the Best; Priority in Giving
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34:5 If a person wants to accrue merit for himself, he should restrain his urges and open his hand wide. Things that are done for a mitzvah should be done in the best way possible so one should feed a needy person from one’s best food and clothe him from one’s nicest clothes. If one […]
220. How Much to Give
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34:3 A needy person must be given enough to meet his needs. This applies to a poor person who receives charity in secret; the people of the city must collectively enable him to reach his standard of living from before he became poor. One who goes collecting door-to-door, however, must only be given a small […]
219. Tzedaka (Charity)
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34:1 There is an obligation for Jews to support their needy brethren as we see in Deuteronomy 15:8, “You shall surely open your hand to him.” To turn a poor person away empty-handed violates “Do not close your heart or shut your hand to your needy brother” (Deuteronomy 15:7). Charity is a trait of Abraham’s […]
218. Crossing a River
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33:13 One may not attempt to cross a powerful river if the water reaches above his waist due to the likelihood that one might be carried away by the current. 33:14 One may not speak about punishments to befall another Jew because our words have power. One may likewise not try to frighten a child […]
217. Cutting Down Fruit Trees
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33:11 It is forbidden to cut down a fruit-bearing tree, such as an olive tree that produces a quarter-kav of olives or a date tree that produces a kav of dates. (A kav is a measure of volume in the vicinity of a liter and a half.) However, such trees may be cut down to […]
216. Repulsive Things
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33:9 One may not eat things that are considered repulsive or eat from utensils that are so dirty they are considered repulsive. One should also not eat with dirty hands. All of these are based upon the Biblical injunction against making ourselves disgusting (Leviticus 11:43). Even if one is personally not disgusted by something, his […]