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Section: Taryag Mitzvos   Category: Mitzva Opportunity
The Less Painful Good-Bye

"Kasheh Olai Preidaschem"; it is difficult for me to part ways with you. These are the famous words of Hakadosh Baruch Hu after seven beautiful days with Am Yisroel in the Succah. We echo there same sentiments every day, only we are looking lovingly at our ‘hard earned" money when we say this. This is especially applicable when we are approached to give tzedoka. If you know what I am talking about then I have some very interesting information for you that may make this sad good-bye somewhat easier.

The Pasuk says in Mishpatim (22:24) "Im Kesef Talvah Es Ami"; if you will lend money to the poor of my nation whom are with you. Rashi says that Rebbi Yishmoel says that anytime the Torah says "if" it is a reference to a voluntary non- mandatory act with three exceptions in the Torah. This pasuk is one of the exceptions. You "must" lend money and it is not optional.

Although the mitzvah of chesed has many different facets, the mitzvah of lending money is the greatest chesed of all since there is a special mitzvos aseh to lend money. A person must set aside a certain amount of his income for loans to other people. The Rambam says that it is a greater mitzvah to lend money to a poor person to help him stay afloat than to give him tzedoka. There are poor people who do not wish to make their plight known and will not accept handouts. By lending them money you are helping them hide their plight from becoming known.

Ideally says the Chofetz Chaim one third of one's maaser money should be used for the mitzvah of lenning money with the other two thirds to be given to tzedoka.

So whether your budget for tzedoka is maaser (10%) or a chomesh (20%) keep some aside for loans that you can make to people in need or better yet give it to an established G'Mach that has experience with the ins and outs of lending money. This "donation" with strings attached is an important aspect of tzedoka. More importantly is perfect suited for us psychologically sensitive souls since we don't need to say good-bye forever.

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Visitor Comments: 1

WE, Teaneck, 2008-02-03 06:44:30
Miracle Story---
It was lunchtime and I was overcome with a desire for a sweet coffee. I am usually not in the vicinity (within 30 minutes) of this special coffee and I would have to travel far in order to get it (a twenty minute walk) but I only had this opportunity to get it because I might not be in this neighborhood for another few months.

I had to do an errand beforehand and logically I didn't have time to pick up this coffee but I was completely overcome with a desire for this coffee.

On the way, there was a homeless person just lying there. I somehow could tell that this person really needed my money. I stuck my hand into my bag and a large bill came out. I couldn't wake the person and I said to myself "Ratzon Hashem" concerning the amount and the fact that I can't touch him and I left the bill near him.

I left his presence and lo and behold...The desire evaporated. I accomplished my errand, I got back on time to what I was supposed to be doing and what an eyeopener this event was.

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