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The Weekly eDrash

Gain new understanding from the ancient writings! Learn messianic insight from the Torah every week through the Weekly eDrash.

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The Mitzvah of Charity

Tags:  character, charity, generocity, giving, needy, poor

Thought for the Week:

The story is told of when Rabbi Akiva got married. He and his wife were so poor they had only straw to sleep on. One night Heaven tested them and sent Elijah disguised as a stranger to knock at the door. He cried, “Please help me. My wife is in confinement and doesn’t even have straw to lay on.” Akiva got up and gave him the straw and said, “You see, there is a man who does not even have straw!” (Nedarim 50a)

Commentary:

Charity is one of the central pillars of Torah. It is a reflection of God’s very nature. It is grace itself. The Master quotes the Deuteronomy 17:11 saying, “You always have the poor with you,” (John 12:8), and He expects us to give generously to them. A majority of the Master’s teachings have to do with the subject of giving charity. He assumes that we will give charity, saying, “When you give to the poor…” (Matthew 6:2) He points out that even the hypocrites give charity. After all, the giving of charity is a commandment of the Torah. Conversely, there is a prohibition, “not to deny chari…

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