Saturday, 22 September 2012 22:11

merging keva and kavana

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-connectedThe act of giving is a relatively simple thing. When you give you are simply transferring something that was once yours to someone else. It is entirely possible to give angrily, happily, begrudgingly, indifferently, or thoughtfully. Generosity, on the other hand is a different matter. Generosity has a component of mindfulness and “heartfulness” that goes beyond the physical act of giving.

Sunday, 24 June 2012 10:56

generosity as stewardship

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-mudprintOne of my favorite jokes is a story of a group of scientists who, convinced that they don’t need God anymore, proceed to attempt to prove it by making a human being out of the dirt (like he made the first). They do quite well and God decides to let them know how nice of a job they did but, to be fair, if they really wanted to prove they didn’t need him anymore they should get their own dirt!

Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:11

with all your resources

Written by rabbi russ resnik

art-shemaTravel always provides lots of opportunities for practicing the middot—standing in a TSA security line is ideal for developing patience; staying strapped into a narrow seat on a crowded plane is perfect for equanimity; and there are boundless opportunities for humility. On my latest trip I had a chance to learn about the middah of generosity.

Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:52

time and generosity

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-clockI am increasingly aware that time is one of the most valuable things in my life. There is so much to do and so little time, as the saying goes. My chevruta and I have often discussed the role of time in the middah of generosity.

Thursday, 29 December 2011 10:51

generosity as an attitude

Written by rabbi michael schiffman

art-giveWhen people think of generosity, they usually think of gift giving, especially during the winter holidays.  The focus is on what you give and what you get.

Sunday, 25 December 2011 11:51

generous speech

Written by rabbi russ resnik

art-luminariaAs it is said, And you shall love Hashem your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. . . .

And with all your might means with all your wealth. Another interpretation: With all your might means with every measure that he measures out for you, thank him much. —m.Berakhot 9:5

Saturday, 24 December 2011 17:52

matter of the heart

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-giftOur society has a somewhat dysfunctional approach towards generosity at this time of year. By and large the expectation is that if you receive a “holiday” gift from another, you’re obligated to reciprocate.

Thursday, 15 December 2011 21:56

you open your hand...

Written by rebbetzin malkah

art-yudhandThe Hebrew phrase for generosity is nedivut, which also means magnanimity.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 17:14

thoughtful giving

Written by riverton mussar

art-tzedakah2(Below are excerpts from Chapter 4 of Shmoneh Prakim by Rambam regarding generosity.) 

Similar is generosity, which is the middle between stinginess and wasteful extravagance.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 18:53

questions to ask yourself

Written by riverton mussar

art-questionsUse these questions to evaluate your day:

    1. What were the seeds that started to erode your generosity today?
    2. Think of how you used the resources around you today (money, natural, etc..). Did you see a need and respond generously? Why or why not?
    3. Were you generous in your speech today? Did you take a moment to say something positive to someone to lift him/her up?
    4. Is there a plan today or one day this week to distribute charity?
    5. Did you look at someone today and judge their neediness or did you help them? Is this a different response than you usually give?
    6. Does giving make you feel superior or haughty?
    7. Is it difficult for you to give of your possessions to help others?
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