Sunday, December 25, 2011

Why Jews Love their Money

A fellow from Jerusalem just came to my door raising money for his family. He was a very friendly, talkative fellow. After I gave him my - unfortunately, rather small - donation and he was drinking his coffee provided by my gracious wife, he told me a dvar Torah which he said was his own original insight.

The Talmud (Shabbos 156b) states, "צדקה תציל ממוות" - "Charity saves from death." Why should tzedaka (charity) be specifically associated with saving one from death? My guest explained that we earn money by spending time working for it. So money is time, and time is life! When a person gives his money/time/life to another as tzedaka, he is rewarded - "מדה כנגד מדה" - "measure for measure" - by being granted more life. Thus, tzedaka saves from death.

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