Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Omer 2017 Day 43: Kindly Deeds

Day 43: Chesed in Malchut, Kindness in Leadership
Kindly Deeds Done for Free by The Simpsons' parody band, AD/BC

Kindly deeds
Done for free

Maimonides taught that there are 8 levels of tzedakah or charity:
8. When donations are given grudgingly.
7. When one gives less than one should, but does so cheerfully.
6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.
5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.
4. Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor still doesn't know the specific identity of the recipient.
3. Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.
2. Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.
1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them to find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

Giving on any level is a mitzvah, whether one gives grudgingly or less than one could, or one is in the position to provide steady employment or a small business start-up loan. The point is really to strive to do more, to give more, for those in need.