23 January 2010


The Baal Shem Tov was asked once about giving more than a fifth of one's income to Tzdaka (Chomesh) since the Shulchan Aruch mandates not to give more than a fifth and wouldn't that be considered squandering.

The Baal Shem Tov aswered that the word "mebazbez" (waste, squander) is similar to the word "biza" (to conquer, as during the war).

That is, a person who is not willing to give necessitates a war with oneself to achieve the benefits of "biza" - to force oneself. And this is the meaning of the words "do not spend more than a fifth". But when a person, by contrast, gives with joy and pleasure, then what distinguishes "Tzdaka" from other pleasures and other expenses for which he spends his money?

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