Friday, February 4, 2011

Pursue the Poor

Tell the Israelites: "You shall take for Me an offering from every person whose heart inspires him to do so." Exodus 25:2

God commands Moses to take the donations from the Israelites to build a wilderness Tabernacle. Why doesn’t the verse read that every person should give an offering?

The first charitable act of the Jewish people emphasized that the central aspect of Tzedakah (charity) is not giving to the needy, but taking from the donor.

The primary goal of Tzedakah is to elevate the soul of the giver while increasing kindness in the world.

The benefactors are commanded to pursue the poor in order to maintain their spiritual connection to the holy and the sacred.

The Israelites were asked to relinquish their material possessions for the sake of the greater communal good. When we act with simple generosity we refine our humanity.

Let us take the offerings and build a more generous world.

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