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Charity On The Day Before Yom Kippur

Charity On The Day Before Yom Kippur


It is customary to give charity generously and liberally during all the days of repentance, but on the day before Yom Kippur this is even more the case, for tzedakah is a great source of merit and serves as protection against harsh decrees. Our Sages recount:

Mar Ukva was in the practice of giving four hundred zuz on every Erev Yom Kippur to a certain poor man who lived nearby. One year he sent the money with his son. His son came back and returned the money, saying: "Father, he has no need for charity."

Mar Ukva asked him: "What did you see [i.e., what made you reach this conclusion)?" He answered: "I saw that they were pouring vintage wine for him." Mar Ukva responded: "I didn't know that he was used to such delicacies!" He thereupon doubled the amount and sent him eight hundred zuz (Ketubbot 67b).

Plimo was wont to tease Satan [by never falling victim to his entreaties]. He would say: "An arrow in your eye, Satan!" One day, on Erev Yom Kippur, Satan appeared to him in the guise of a poor man. He approached Plimo's door and bread was brought out to him. He said: "On such a day, when everyone is dining at home I shall remain outside?"

They brought him in and served him bread. He said: "On such a day when everyone sits around the table, I should sit alone?" They set a place for him at the table. His entire body was covered with sores, which made him most repulsive, and he acted despicably. Plimo said to him: "Behave properly!" He said: "Pour me a cup of wine." They did so and he spat into it.

When they rebuked him he pretended to fall over, dead, and Plimo then heard a voice crying: "Plimo took a life, Plimo took a life!" Plimo fled and hid himself. When Satan saw his anguish and distress, Satan revealed his true identity (Kiddushin 81 a).

Excerpted from: The Book of Our Heritage. Published and copyright by Feldheim Publications.
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