The Money You Give Away Is Yours Forever

Giving charity impacts the giver more than the recipient.

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Comments (1)

(1) Mordechai Shuali, August 2, 2021 4:48 PM

Not JUST Counter-Intuitive

I don't believe "the sages" say anywhere that it is best to 100 poor people 1 dollar rather than one person 100 dollars. What they do say (and I know of a RaMBa"M not a Gemora, but I may be wrong), is that every dollar one gives is a separate mitzvah. These statements are not equal.

Think of the following moshul. You have 1 million dollars to give away. You go to the top of the Empire State Building and throw down 1 million dollar bills. Is that really more helpful, and THEREFORE more changing for the receivers and for the giver, than giving 100,000 people 10 dollars, or 10,000 people 100 dollars each, or 1 person (or institution) 1 million dollars?

When asked by a great sage of the past generation to donate the charity funds he had brought to Israel to this sage's institution, my teacher responded by saying isn't better to give 100 poor people 1 dollar? The great sage replied, "so give me 100 single dollar bills.

Each dollar is a mind/soul changer. TRUE! But small change remains small change, and effects only small changes in the receivers even IF it effects a great change in the giver. BUT one large sum to one individual effects real change in the receiver and arguable a related great change in the giver.

Others have suggested that if I will only be giving very small donations, it is best to give to individuals in need rather than large institutions. Institutions are not helped much by 1, 5, and 10 dollar donations. They have budgets in the millions. Whereas the poor person is helped tremendously by the dollar.

Bottom line, this message could have been given over WITHOUT paskenning this great halachik issue.


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