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August 13, 2017 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Re’eh (my bar mitzvah portion!)

This week’s Torah portion discusses the complicated system of tithes.  Today, observant Jews interpret these rules to require regular donations to charities, ideally totalling at least 1/10 of one’s income.  Some Christian sects do something similar, often requiring a comparable donation to a church.

Is this the Jewish way? Not quite.  Deut. 15:10 says that you should give to the destitute “repeatedly.” Miller (citing Nachmanides) elaborates: “There is a distinct advantage in giving lesser amounts of charity numerous times, in contrast to giving an entire sum at once.  While making a large donation is praiseworthy, the repeated act of giving transforms your character to become more generous and giving, for the soul is refined by means of repeated action.”

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