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The promises of reward for one who gives tzedakah. Malachi 3:10: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse . . . and please test Me . . . if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you blessing . . .”

G‑d Asks Us to “Test” Him

G‑d Asks Us to “Test” Him

Tzedakah—Lesson 3

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G-d Asks Us to "Test" Him: Tzedakah—Lesson 3

The promises of reward for one who gives tzedakah. Malachi 3:10: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse . . . and please test Me . . . if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you blessing . . .”
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Rabbi Lazer Gurkow is spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefilah in London, Ontario, and a frequent contributor to The Judaism Website—Chabad.org. He has lectured extensively on a variety of Jewish topics, and his articles have appeared in many print and online publications. For more on Rabbi Gurkow and his writings, visit InnerStream.ca.
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Lazer Gurkow December 29, 2011

On Beingh Naive To Aaron from Toronto,
I am sorry you feel that being asked to give is not reason enough to give. Indeed, being moved to make a difference is a good reason to give, but giving for the sake of the recipient is an even better reason to give. You can listen to the "Selfless Giving" segment for more on that.

I hear that you don't believe it correct to test G-d and can appreciate your position. After all, we are taught to trust G-d and His inscrutable ways. But Charity is the one exception where the prophet encourages us to do just that, counter-intuitive as it is.

This essay does not encourage people to come back for donations in person or the phone. It encourages you to respond to the poor soul who had no choice but to present himself at your door for a handout.

As to guilt: I don't believe in quilt. I don't think it Jewish nor enshrined in the Torah. On the contrary, I encourage giving because it pays to give. Not out of guilt! Reply

Lazer Gurkow December 29, 2011

On Failing the Test To Anonymous,
The key to the test is that we allow G-d to determine the reward He wants to give. When we stipulate in advance that we want a particular award and this is not the award G-d wants to give us and perhaps it is not even a reward that is good for us from G-d's point of view then we set ourselves up for failure.

Having said that I can attest that nine times out of ten we can see the benefits of Tzedakah if we look for them with open eyes.

It is not merely the hidden blessing of avoiding mishaps we never knew we were intended to have. It us much more than that.

By making a clear assessment of our experiences in the weeks following our Tzedakah we can often see a particular stoke of unusually fortune that we can only attribute to G-d or to coincidence.

The believer will attribute it to Divine Blessing. Reply

Brian Kass Phoenix, AZ via chabadaz.com December 29, 2011

Naive and the pressure of guilt? Your response saddens me, Aaron, and I completely disagree. I'm not one for spouting citations or quotes, but I do know from my learning and understanding of the Torah, we are encouraged to put aside our vanity and pride, and to ask for help if we need it. And further, it is our duty to make the world a better place, and therefore not with guilt that we should help, but with mitzvah. Before my present medical and financial condition, I gave freely and without judgment to both those who asked and those who did not. I never looked at those who asked with any less respect. They needed help, a d as long as I was able, I was willing. I never felt guilted, but rather honored. So many are so hung up on making sure they keep what they have. Trust me, and I think many would testify to the same, that one gains far more than they give. If you fell in a hole, I'm sure you'd hope that bystanders wouldn't be arguing about losing their rope, but rather quickly toss it down. Or is that too naive? Reply

Aaron Toronto, ON December 27, 2011

Is this naive? Hello
I listen to a good number of lectures on chabad, but this is a very simplistic video and quite naive. To encourage people to return to ask for donations by phone or in person is naive. Further, to make us feel that we SHOULD give something because someone asks is also naive.

It is when one feels compelled to make achange or moved to make a difference and donate without being asked that it is a purer form of giving.

I would never really 'test' G-d either, it is wrong to do that.

Sorry Rabbi, this video needs work. It seems you are trying to guilt people into giving no matter what - and that is the wrong message. Reply

Anonymous December 10, 2011

Test Me I didn't have the 12 minutes to watch, but i like the title. Most people do not agree that G-d wants us to test Him. I don't agree with those people simply on the grounds of Free Choice and morality. Reply

Brian Kass Phoenix, AZ via chabadaz.com December 5, 2011

I'm no beggar I am painfully in total and permanent disability, divorced and raising 3 young children. I worked many years through the pain until i could no longer. I am not lazy, in fact I do much more than I should to my own detriment, yet to benefit my children. I receive minimal government benefits. When I ask for help, I am called terrible things, or shunned and ignored. I have always been a giving person myself, and would never ask others what I would not expect from myself. The bravest I've ever had to do, was to set aside my pride and humility, to ask for help. Reply

Anonymous November 30, 2011

How should one feel after they gave far more than they can possibly afford with a Brocha in mind, going along with the phrase "Test me"? Yet we are still asking for our blessing in life for something specific? Reply

Lazer Gurkow London November 29, 2011

When the spouse has forbidden Dear Debra,
If a spouse forbids anything there is an imbalance in the relationship. The question is not entirely about Tzedakah though this too deserves discussion, the question is also about the relationship. In this instance I suggest the couple seek counsel from a wise rabbi with experience in this area. Reply

Debra A.J., AZ/USA November 28, 2011

Tithing? What does one do when the unbelieveing spouse has forbidden any tithing or contributions to charities? Reply

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