Sunday, July 28, 2013

Re'eh 73 – Charity and Wealth Creation

A kid can offer a candy to a class mate for several reasons -  a feeling of altruism, trying to make the kid be happy, to make an impression on a teacher watching him, or to barter for a piece of chocolate in return for the piece of candy. Traditional parenting and teaching focuses on ' behaviors' and the thoughts, intentions, motives, and feelings underlying behaviors are usually ignored. The main thing is to get ' behaviors', even if the kid is only motivated by the wrong reasons.

And this seems to be in keeping with the mitzvah /commandment of 'giving charity= ' Tezdaka'. A man was bothered by the fact that his intentions in giving charity were not 'pure' ,and more about impressing others. The rabbi told him that the poor man was more concerned about having money to buy a meal or a place to get a good night's sleep than his motives. What counts is the giving of charity, not the motives.

Giving charity is a very powerful mitzvah= good deed. It has the ability to save one from the ' judgment of 'hell' in the world to come, protect one's property from losses and create wealth as the Talmud says -'u'seir bish'vil li'hit'u'sheir - gives tithes in order to get rich ' = give away your money in order to make more money.

The Saba from Kelm explains that the power of charity is not from the act of giving alone, but needs to be accompanied by empathy, love and caring for his fellow man. He has to feel for the man's plight and suffering as if it was his own as the Torah says –love your neighbor as yourself. His motivation is not because it is a mitzvah = God's commandment to give, but because God wants him to ' be ' a person who intrinsically feels for others and wants to help. In the same way the Bible=Torah commands us to lend money to the poor using the 'optional language ' if you lend money ' – implying that the Torah wants people to be intrinsically motivated and 'be' people who care empathize with the poor and loan them money.

The mitzvah- good deed of Tezdaka has 2 elements – the hand and the heart .' Do not close your hand or harden your heart , open your hand ….  Etc.' The reward for giving  of our wealth to the poor is the mitzvah itself –se'char mitzvah, mitzvah  and God creates the conditions so new  wealth is created .This enables us to  give more charity and so the mitzvah brings along more mitzvoth = mitzvah go're'ret mitzvah.

We see that thoughts, intentions, motives and feelings are crucial when we give charity. It is the ' Being ' which is just as important as the ' Doing' in the mitzvah of charity =Tezdaka.

Neale Walsch the author of ' Conversations with God' gives an insight into the creation process and in particular how  the creation of wealth occurs.

''Most people believe if they "have" a thing (more time, money, love -- whatever), then they can finally "do" a thing (write a book, take up a hobby, go on vacation, buy a home, undertake a relationship), which will allow them to "be" a thing (happy, peaceful, content, or in love). In actuality, they are reversing the Be-Do-Have paradigm. In the universe as it really is, "havingness" does not produce "beingness," but the other way around.
First you "be" the thing called "happy" (or "knowing," or "wise," or "compassionate," or whatever), then act as if you are ''happy'' by "doing" things from this place of beingness -- and soon you discover that what you are doing winds up bringing and drawing you the things you've always wanted to "have."
The way to set this creative process (and that's what this is...the process of creation) into motion is to look at what it is you want to "have," ask yourself what you think you would "be" if you "had" that, then go right straight to being.''

A condition for creation is 'to love your neighbor as yourself. '

''Whatever you choose for yourself, give to another. If you choose to be happy, cause another to be happy. If you choose to be prosperous, cause another to prosper. If you choose more love in your life, cause another to have more love in theirs. Do this sincerely -- not because you seek personal gain, but because you really want the other person to have that -- and all the things you give away will come to you.

The very act of your giving something away causes you to experience that you have it to give away. Since you cannot give to another something you do not now have, your mind comes to a new conclusion, a New Thought, about you --namely, that you must have this, or you could not be giving it away.

This New Thought then becomes your experience. You start "being" that. And once you start "being" a thing, you've engaged the gears of the most powerful creation machine in the universe -- your Divine Self. ''– that partners with God to make your life and the poor around you more meaningful and caring.

The poor man now has to '  tithe' the money he has received from the rich man and give charity.. The rich man is grateful to the poor man for giving him the opportunity to protect his wealth, create new wealth and new opportunities for doing  good. The poor man is grateful to the rich man for putting him on his feet by providing either employment ,  a loan or charity.In this way , the poor man can begin to experience ' Being '= wealthy and happy , then act on his ' being ' by giving charity and then setting in motion the creative process of creating new wealth to do more good.

Behaviors are important , but God wants us to focus on Being the Ba'al Tezdaka , a person who gives charity from this place of Being.


  1. Dear allan, thank u so much for this wonderful drash, u r "bringing
    Up " and opening in so little word such a big world of GOOD
    Your way of putting the need of doing things from being not from having is so much needed in this world. The wise words of the Torah r being so many times twisted and abused in my eyes
    While u r putting the correct and right meaning at list to my way of thinking, and for this I thank u so much
    Have a cry good peaceful and happy Shabat love to all orna

  2. On top of all I never thought of the notion that giving from and of your self is a way to feel your self up again in what ever is needed .....if it is the strength of your Saul or By giving away to the needed, whatever it is, one is really making a way for him self to
    Have the "place" time to make for him self more....I guess it is a little like the law of
    Emptying up, by using to make good so u can feel the space again and even better.
    Thank u again