Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tzedakah: Giving and Giving

Tzedakah means charity. It is a huge mitzvah.

Tzedakah means much more than giving money. It is about helping a person in need – with whatever he needs. If he is hungry, you feed him. If he is cold, you give him a coat. If he isn’t married, you find him a wife. If he is in need, you help.

And it isn’t just what you give, but how you give it. You have to smile. You have to be kind, sensitive, thoughtful, and make him feel good.

Did this ever happen to you? You see a needy person and think, “Oh man, I have to get out of here. He is going to bug me.” Yikes.

But think about it. He is doing you a favor. Tzedakah is a mitzvah. You need him to do the mitzvah. You should really be thinking, “Wow. What an opportunity. I can really help someone.”

And charity begins at home. Don’t step over the homeless people in your neighborhood on your way to save children in Africa. Help out locally. And family comes first. The poor people in your family take precedence over everyone else. Your community is next. If you still have money and time, help the rest of the world.

Tzedakah is contagious. It is a big mitzvah to help others. It is a bigger mitzvah to involve others. Be a leader. Motivate your friends to give tzedakah, too. They will thank you for it.

And they need to do it. Can you think of a bigger mitzvah than that?

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