Should we give more to charity

Why should one give zedaka, money for charity? Recently I heard someone argue against giving money to those who are less fortunate than you: “I've worked hard for my money and I want to keep it to myself.

I toiled to be able to afford a nice car and a home and go on vacation. So why should I give my cash to someone? If someone wants money, they should work as hard for it as I did! ”Sounds kind of sensible, doesn't it? Or maybe not?

In the Torah (4th Book of Moses 5: 9) we read: "And every Hebe, all sacred things that are brought to the Kohen by the children of Israel, shall belong to him." Things "refer to the Bikkurim - the first fruits of the soil - about which it is written in the Torah (2nd Book of Moses 23:19):" You shall bring the first fruits of your earliest agricultural crops into the house of the Eternal, your Gd . «The above verse, says Rashi, means that everything that is brought to the House of the Eternal belongs to the Kohen.

But why does the Torah list these two details separately? Why is the House of the Eternal in the 2nd Book of Moses and the Kohen in the 4th Book of Moses?

First fruits Working in the field requires enormous effort: you have to plow, sow, care for, harvest and so on. Now one can think: “After this hard work I should at least let me enjoy the first fruits. Why should the Kohen have it? After all, I worked hard, not him. "

This is why the Torah tells us that we are to bring the firstfruits into the house of the Eternal. We have to realize that the first fruits are not really ours - they belong to God. Once we are aware of this fact, it becomes less difficult to give the part to the Kohanim.

Bikkurim is like Zedaka. The Torah tells us that we should give a tenth of our income to charity (Shulchan Aruch, Yorah Deah 249). But we might object, “Why should I give to charity? I worked hard for my money, so let me enjoy it - everything. "

From the mitzvah of the Bikkurim we learn that this tenth part of our income (and some opinions say that up to a fifth should be given away) actually belongs to God, not to us. After we understand and accept this fact, it becomes much easier for us to give money to charity.

If we give Zedaka in the way the Torah recommends, we are guaranteed what is also in the 4th Book of Moses (5:10): "What a man gives to the Kohen should belong to him". This means (Brachot 63a) that by giving the tzedaka your own income will increase considerably.

So be it the merit of our charitable donations today that our income is increased so that we can fulfill this mitzvah of charity to an ever increasing extent.

Reprinted with the kind permission of the author