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Why do people give charity without getting repaid by G-d?

by Rabbi I. Schochet


Library » Mitzvot » Charity | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Rabbi Immanuel Schochet: Who says they do not get repaid? When you work you do not get your paycheck right away (unless you do piece/part work). Our work for G-d and His world is not piece-work but a full-time job.

David: But many people I know gave lots of charity and then lost everything..

Rabbi Immanuel Schochet: Everything? Are they alive? Are their dear ones alive? Do they enjoy good health? Payment is not necessarily 2 dollars for every dollar; some payments are much greater and of a different sort.

david: Yes, but G-d says that he will open the gates, and repay with wealth..

Rabbi Immanuel Schochet: As I said, sometimes the payment comes later, and the in-between is a test of sorts, or an investment for a later good. If the payment would be immediate, and right away with money/wealth, everyone would be throwing money at charity as if money were worthless. This would deprive you of your freedom of choice and make you serve G-d only the way you work for someone else - thus completely losing the whole idea of charity.

david: thank's so much rabbi...


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Immediate payback

Posted by: Michael Makovi on Dec 01, 2005

As the rabbi said, if a person who gave tzedakah immediately got paid back more than he or she gave, then people would give charity simply to make profit, rather than in the interest of being righteous or following G-d's mitzvot.

As an aside, if upon giving tzedakah you immediately got back double the next day, then tzedakah would be unnecessary - a poor person with only one penny could give it to tzedakah, and every day give all his money, and if he got back double the next day, he'd almost be a millionaire by day 23, and he would be a millionaire by the day 24.

(For those interested in the math, on day X you make StartingAmount* 2 to the power of (X-1), so that on day X you have a total of [StartingAmount* 2 to the power of (X-1)]*2-1. On day 24, starting with $0.01, you have more than 16 million dollars.)
King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.