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Chazal tell us that one should give no more than a fifth of his assets to tzedakah. The Baal HaTanya clarifies that this refers only to a person who has never sinned; everyone else can give much more because tzedakah serves as a tikun, rectification, for a person’s neshama. Just as a person will spend all of his money, and even go into debt, in order to heal his body, a person should give a lot of money to tzedakah for the sake of rectifying his soul.
Most people set aside a certain amount of money for tzedakah. However, just like a person has to grow in the quantity and quality of his Torah and tefilah, he must also grow in tzedakah and constantly strive to give greater and greater percentages of his earnings to those less fortunate than himself.
The Gemara says that a person never becomes poor from giving tzedakah. To the contrary, when Hashem sees that a person engages in tzedakah He enriches him so that he be able to continue giving.
Sometimes we do see that a person who gave tzedakah generously becomes poor. However, this may be because, according to his inflated means, even the vast amounts he gave were not enough. Or, he may have slighted the feelings of the poor man in the process of giving him tzedakah.
In this week’s parsha, Ki Sisa, the Torah discusses the mitzvah of giving a half-shekel. The word used for giving is ונתנו, which can be read backwards and forwards. This teaches us that whatever we give is returned to us.
ונתנו is gematria חייב אדם לבסומי בפוריא 512, a person is obligated to become drunk on Purim. A person is obligated to become drunk from giving tzedakah on Purim and should reach a point of עד דלא ידע, giving and giving without keeping a cheshban.
JIM = Jaffa Institute & Midnightrabbi eli goldsmithTzedakah with Joy http://www.rootfunding.com/campaign/3425
In Parshas Terumah Klal Yisrael prove their overwhelming generosity by their eagerness to contribute to the Mishkan. This Shabbos is the first in the month of Adar, the month of Purim, a day of Matanos L’Evyonim, giving money to the poor.
The tzedakah a Jew gives is laden with meaning and accomplishes much in heaven. The way a person gives affects his spiritual, as well as material, well-being. In the next four weeks we will explore the topic of tzedakah as explained by the Mashgiach last year by P’ Terumah Shalosh Seudos.
A knock on the door, a brokenhearted Jew who wants to tell his story, and an outstretched palm in the street or during davening are naturally seen as unwelcome interruptions. It is hard to stop what one is doing and answer the door, listen to another person or rummage through ones pockets for money.
However, what we view as difficulties and annoyances are really tremendous opportunities for, both, spiritual growth and creating a channel into which beracha can come into our lives.
Zohar teaches that our souls will be greeted in heaven after 120 with the same amount of joy that we greet our guests, tzedakah collectors included (and also the way we greet Shabbos).
Because it is hard to give tzedakah with simcha, we must practice; we must give tzedakah again and again while keeping in mind what a zchus, what a privilege, it is to give of our time, empathy and money.
An idea that can make parting with ones hard-earned-buck easier is to separate the money into a separate tzedakah fund so that it should be ready for the giving when the eagerly awaited for knock or outstretched palm heads our way.
May Hashem bless us with an Adar full of true, deep simcha and may we always merit to be from the givers and not the takers