When 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.
Those of you who know me, know that over five months ago, I underwent gastric surgery. During that time, I have lost about 75 pounds.
A friend on facebook sent me the following craigslist advertisement:
“I have an unused bad of corn meal mix that I am not using. Any needy or hungry person may come and get the bag of cornmeal IF you can prove to me that you are indigent and NEED this cornmeal. Do NOT apply if you are on food stamps, welfare, have section 8 housing OR if you are gainfully employed and can afford your own cornmeal. Also no one that has a Christmas meal with other types of bread available (i.e. rolls ), no pot or cigarette smokers, no drinkers, no gamblers , no gays or lesbians or atheists OR if you have no oven to bake the cornbread in. Good luck, let the applications begin and I will decide who gets the corn meal mix by 6 p.m. Buttermilk for mixing NOT included.”
Righteousness or justice resounds as a theme throughout Torah and into the rest of the Scriptures, but nowhere does it sound more clearly than in three Hebrew words in Deuteronomy—tzedek tzedek tirdof: “Justice, justice you shall pursue.”
If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities, in your land the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother. Rather, you shall open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking. –Deuteronomy 15:7-8
Once a very rich man, Yossele, was considered a stingy, mean miser. Everyone was sure that he shared his wealth with no one, never gave to anyone – ever. Everyone in the ghetto where he lived knew how much he had and how he hoarded it, and everyone judged him for not doing something to help the suffering and need of the women and children and the elderly. But he never made public donations...
1. Ophthalmology . pertaining to or having myopia; nearsighted.
2. unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.
3. lacking tolerance or understanding; narrow-minded.
Then a certain sage arose to test him and said, “Teacher, what should I do to take possession of eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Torah? How do you read it?” He answered and said, “Love HaShem your God with all of your with all of your soul, and with all of your strength, and with all of your knowledge [Devarim 6:5], and your fellow as yourself” [Vayikra He said to him, “You have answered well. Do this and live.”
He desired to justify himself so he said to Yeshua, “Who is my fellow?”
Yeshua answered and said, “A certain man went down from Yerushalayim to Yericho, and he fell victim to robbers. They stripped him, even wounding him, and they abandoned him. As he stood between death and life, they walked on. A certain kohen happened upon him going down that road. He saw him and passed over him. Likewise, a Levi came to the place and approached and saw him but passed over him. Then a Shomroni was walking on the road. He came upon him and saw him, and he felt moved. He approached him and bandaged his wounds and applied oil and wine to them. He had him ride on his animal, led him to the inn, and provided for him. The next day, when he traveled, he brought out two dinarim and gave them to the owner of the inn. He said, “Provide for him. Whatever else you spend on him I will repay you when I return.” Now, who of these three was a fellow in your eyes to the one who fell victim to the robbers?
He said, “The one who carried out the chesed.” Yeshua said to him, “Go and do likewise yourself.” – Matthew 10:25-37, DHE