The Gift of Giving

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

When a person is completely true before G-d, in the sense that he serves G-d in the same exacting and careful way whether or not he is in the presence of others, his truthfulness draws the power of tzedakah to him.
(Likutey Moharan I:251)


What does this mean to me?
Rebbe Nachman explains in many of his lessons that giving charity is a powerful force not only for the receiver, and not merely for the giver, but for the entire world. In the lesson quoted here, we learn that the power of giving is diluted and diverted if it was motivated by ego. The remedy that Rebbe Nachman suggests is to remain focused on “echad”—that there is no other observer than G-d to my act of giving. The way that I demonstrate that this message has penetrated is if I also fulfill other commandments with the same attention to detail and devotion when no one else can see me. By working on this latter goal, it will become easier for me to give without ego-involvement, and then the giving can reach its highest potential.


A prayer:

My G-d, help me become a “giver.”
Help me give…and go on giving.
You’ve called on us
to be charitable;
show me how.
Show me how to give
with a pure heart,
with an open heart,
with a heart filled with joy.
Lead me to those
who are truly deserving,
for giving is so holy an act.
Help me find the truly needy,
and help them find me.

(Gentle Weapon*, p. 12)

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