1. A poor woman arrived at the door of a kollel family in Eretz Yisrael and asked for a piece of chicken. At first the father of the family resisted because he himself was not doing well financially and every piece of chicken prepared for Shabbos was carefully counted out. It was Thursday night, and he knew he did not have a piece of chicken to spare. The woman continued begging and turned down any offer of money or anything else to eat. Eventually, to put a stop to her pestering, the father agreed. He went to the fridge, opened it up, and found that his three-year-old son had gotten trapped in the refrigerator and was turning blue. Another few minutes inside and he would have died. (tzedaka, bitachon) (Impact Volume One)
    1. Rav Chaim Yosef Gottlieb, the Rav of Stropkov, had an enormously large collection of sefarim. Rav Chaim Sanzer saw the collect ion and was very displeased. “Don’t you think that with such rampant poverty in the world, it is wrong to spend excessively on sefarim?” he rebuked the rav. Answered Rav Gottlieb, “When I want to help a talmid chacham financially, I buy a sefer from him. That way he can cam the money in a respectable fashion that is where most of these sefarim come from.”    (Dan lekaf zechus, tzedaka) (Impact Volume One)
    1. A bus pulled out of the stop on Malchei Yisrael Street in the Geulah section of Ierusalem. The driver suddenly stopped the bus, opened the front door, stepped out of his seat and threw some money to a poor man on the sidewalk. Why is it that I never saw this happen in Chicago  (tzedaka) (Impact Volume Two)
    1. A rav entered a small store in Tel Aviv and met two very fine bnei Torah, the sons of the owner, working behind the counter. This was in the early days of the State when Bnei Toreh were few and far between. When their father walked in, the rav called him aside. “You have two wonderful sons. What did you do to deserve them?” he asked point blank. “Oh, nothing special that I can think of.” ”Come on, there must be something you did at some point in your life. It can’t be you simply ended up with them iust like that.” After a few minutes of thinking, the man offered the following: “Back in Russia, I was living in a small town Somehow I accumulated :1 small amount of extra tzedakah money, so I asked the local rav what to do with it. He told me there were two young boys he’d like to send to the Slobodka Yeshivah, and he thought the money ought to be used for that. So I gave it to him. I heard the boys did well in their learning. That’s the only zechus I can think of.” “Do you happen to remember their names?” the mv asked. “Nah, it was a long time ago… Oh, wait a second. Yes, yes, I remember. One was named Yaakov Kamenetslcy and the other was Aharon Kotler.” COMMENT: Indeed. they “did well” in their learning. And this simple lew shares in their accomplishments. The two boys he was blessed with is inst the tip of the iceberg.    (tzedaka) (Impact Volume Two)
    1. Why are there so many kollelim nowadays?” wealthy Mr. Tauber asked Harav Aaron Leib Steinman. “There were never that many back in the good old days.” “l’d like to ask you a question,” responded the Torah giant. “Why are there so many wealthy Jews nowadays? lt never used to be like that. The answer is that there are so many wealthy Jews because there are so many kollelim that need to be supported. If there were less kollelim, there’d be less wealthy Jews.” (Impact Volume Four) (torah, tezadaka)
    1. THE PREVIOUS SATMAR Rebbe, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”I, had a beautiful minhag in his Beis Hamedrash. After Shacharis every Sunday morning, the Rebbe would select three men and assign them the special mitzvah of approaching all the people in shul to ask them for tzedakah money. ln addition, he requested that these men spend the entire week raising money for poor people. At the end of the week, the men would bring the money that they had collected to the Rebbe, who in turn would distribute it to needy individuals and families. One Sunday morning, the Rebbe approached his Chassid R” Yisrael Zupnick and asked him to be one of the men to collect tzedakah money that week. R‘ Yisrael was mortified. He was a wealthy man who had always given much tzedakah. and he felt embarrassed asking others for money, even though he knew was not for himself. He just couldn’t see himself doing this particular mitzvah that the Rebbe was asking of him. R‘ Yisrael thought of a plan. He approached the Rebbe and said. “Rebbe, please forgive me. You know l would do anything that you ask of me, but I just can‘t go around asking people for money. Please tell me how much money is collected each week, rad l will happily write a check for that amount, which can then be given to the needy. ” The Rebbe answered, “R’ Yisrael, l appreciate your won- derful offer, but I would still ask that you go around collecting tzedakah this week.” “Rebbe,” R’ Yisrael persisted, “l am more than happy to simply write a check for even more than the amount that is generally collected.” The Rebbe smiled and said. “l knew when l asked you that this mitzvah would not be something easy for you to do. l am insisting that you go around. and l will tell you why. After you spend this week collecting tzedakah. the next time a poor person comes to you to ask for your help, you will look at him differently. lt will be easier for you to feel his pain and to understand how difficult it is for him to approach people for money.” That day, R‘ Yisrael gained a new awareness. The Rebbe didn’t just want his personal money, but rather he wanted to teach him a lifelong lesson in sensitivity towards the person ask- ing for tzedakah. lt’s more than just giving money that counts; it’s how you make the recipient feel.    (For Goodness’ Sake) (tzedaka, epathize)
    1. A king loved a certain officer very much and appointed him the highest-ranking officer in his kingdom. The officer’s esteem continued to escalate, until he was entrusted with the responsibility of supplying the king’s army with their provisions of food. Every month, the officer would receive a considerable stipend from the kingdom’s coffers, which he would use to buy food for the army units that were stationed throughout the kingdom. Some time later, the officer began to abuse his post. What did he do? Instead of purchasing provisions with the money he was alloted, he would spend only half of the money and then pocket the other half. The soldiers, whose rations of food had been severely reduced, were literally starving. Yet none of them had the gall to broach the matter to the king — for who could be so audacious as to accuse his beloved officer? The scenario persisted until, one day, the king paid his troops a visit. ln one of the camps, he asked the soldiers if they were satisfied with the quality and quantity of food that they were receiving. At that point, one soldier gathered up his courage and related to the king that they had been receiving reduced rations of food for quite some time. The subsequent investigation quickly revealed the officer’s guilt, and he was brought before the king, shametaced and humiliated. lnfuriated, the king approached the officer, stripped him of his rank, and ordered that he be imprisoned until the ensuing trial would be held. The king then turned to the soldier who had divulged the truth and asked, “Are you prepared to fill his position?” “Absolutely, Your Great Highness!” replied the soldier happily. The soldier proved to be an able replacement, carrying out his task with integrity. In a short while, matters reverted back to the way they had been initially. When the day of the deposed officer’s hearing arrived, he was taken from his cell, and brought to the king. He stood before him, embarrassed and disgraced. Did you truly think,” thundered the king, “that the money you received from the kingdom’s money supply was to be spent on yourself? Certainly not! You were to buy food for the soldiers; you served only as a treasurer! “You have betrayed my trust!” Hashem, exclaimed the Chofetz Chaim, gives man wealth in order for him to fulfill the mitzvah of tzedakah and come to the aid of the unfortunate. Man must realize that he is but is merely a treasurer who is required to make use of the money to perform acts of kindliness, as this was the reason he received the funds to begin with. But if man chooses not to give tzedakah and pockets the money instead — he has betrayed his trust. As a result, he is stripped of his rank, and the money is given to another who will act more sensibly when using the money that was placed in his care. (tzedaka, shemita, ribis) (Jewish Parables- A Mashal for Every Occasion)
    1. Reuven and Shimon were partners in a thriving business. They had come to an agreement that they could each take whatever they needed from the business fund in order to provide for themselves and their families, while the remaining money would be split evenly between them. Their luck eventually took a turn for the worse, and the business was no longer generating as much profit as it did originally. The two partners met and tried to devise a plan that would enable them to conserve their depleting funds. They decided that each of them would curtail the amount of money they had been spending on their domestic needs and would no longer buy the large quantities of food and drink to which they had grown accustomed. From now on, they would purchase only that which was absolutely necessary to sustain themselves. Reuven, who was an honest fellow, abided by the agreement and bought only that which was essential to his family’s health and well-being. Shimon, on the other hand, betrayed his friend’s trust and continued to spend exorbitantly, indulging as if the business was as prosperous as it had been in the past. Some time later, the two partners returned and took note of the fact that business had not improved. Once again, they tried to come up with a plan. But as they read through their financial records, Reuven came to the startling realization that he had been duped. While he and his family had been coping on near-starvation rations, Shimon and his family were indulging on delicacies that were fit for a king. “You deceptive thief that you are!” screamed Reuven with all his might. “My family and l are starving for bread, and you go ahead and steal from the business fund? You’ve destroyed our business with your very own hands!” There is a type of partnership that exists between man and Hashem, said the Chofetz Chaim. Hashem provides man with all his needs, supporting and sustaining him constantly. Man’s responsibility is to set aside tzedakah from his money. When hard times befall man and it is difficult for him to earn a livelihood, he must, nevertheless, maintain his end of the partnership by spending less on his domestic needs and continuing to give tzedakah. However, there are individuals who act like the crooked partner. While they continue to spend without restraint when it comes to their household necessities, they neglect the obligations of their partnership with Hashem, by not giving the requisite tzedakah. Let him not be the least bit surprised if he is held accountable for his behavior.    (tzedaka) (Jewish Parables- A Mashal for Every Occasion)
    1. A married man who studied in the Chofetz Chaim’s yeshivah in Radin, an extremely diligent scholar, suffered from dire poverty. Every so often, he would turn to the Chofetz Chaim and complain about his predicament: “Rebbe” he would say, “it Hashem would shower me with wealth, I would give generously to tzedaka” Shortly thereafter the man started a small business and was blessed with success. In a short time, he actually became an extraordinarily wealthy individual. Unfortunately, he forgot all about the promise that he had made to the Chofetz Chaim, and not only did he not give tzednknh, but he became a tull-fledged miser as well. Several years later, the Chofetz Chaim happened to visit the wealthy man’s city, and his former student came out to welcome him. “Rebbe,” said the wealthy man, “l have been stricken with the trait of miserliness. It is as if my hand is sealed shut with both lock and bolt, and l am unable to give any Izedaknll at all. What should I do?” “What did you expect?” said the Chofetz Chaim. “Did you really think that you could amass hordes of wealth, and your Yetzer Hara — which persuades you to close your hand to the needy -— would remain exactly as it was when you were poor?” (gam zu, tzedaka) (Jewish Parables- A Mashal for Every Occasion)
    1. The day R’ Mordechai Susna graduated Yeshivas Yaakov Yosef in 1951 was one of the happiest in his parents’ lives. More than anything, they wanted their son to grow up to be a hen Torah, and this was one big step in the right direction. But the Susnas did not want to stop there. Next on the agenda was enrolling R’ Mordechai into a yeshiva for higher learning. To this end, Mrs. Susna went to visit Rabbi Kalman Goldberg, the rav of Adas Yisroel Shul on the East Side, who was well known for his enthusiastic support for continued yeshiva learning. “Your son is young,” Rabbi Goldberg told Mrs. Susna, “but I think you should look into Bais Medrash Govoha, in Lakewood. Rav Aharon Kotler is the rosh yeshiva there, and your son can do no better than to learn by him.” The Susnas lost no time in contacting Reb Aharon, who promised to be in touch with them sometime in the near future. One evening shortly afterwards, as Mordechai was on his way to bed, there was a knock at the door. In walked Rabbi Goldberg. “Guess what, Mordechai! I’ve arranged an interview with Reb Aharon! He’s able to see you right now.” “Now? But—but…” “Yes, right now! I know it’s late, but you can’t afford to miss this opportunity.” Mordechai was reluctant. ”This is so sudden. I haven’t had any time to prepare! How can I speak to the great Reb Aharon Kotler in Torah without spending some time beforehand preparing what I’m going to say?” “Don’t worry,” Rabbi Goldberg insisted. “It will be fine. But you must come now!” Mordechai allowed himself to be persuaded, and the two of them went off to the West Side, where Reb Aharon was staying. Mordechai stood awkwardly when they came into the room. Reb Aharon beckoned him over to the table, then pushed his hat back on his head and sat down in his chair. Seeing the rosh yeshiva so relaxed helped Mordechai calm down, and he felt his tension receding. As soon as Mordechai was comfortable, Reb Aharon began asking him questions about the gemam he was presently Mordechai tried to answer the questions, but as the session went on, he felt his nervousness returning. “Forget it,” he though glumly. “I’m not doing well at all.” After a short while, Reb Aharon stopped the questions. Then Rabbi Goldberg, who had been standing at the side of the room the entire time, came forward. “Do you mind stepping out for a minute, Mordechai?” he asked the young man. Mordechai obediently stepped out of the room. He heard voices from the other side of the door, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying. Gloomily, he paced the small hall, reflecting upon the questions Reb Aharon had asked him, and mentally chastising himself for his poor showing. Ten minutes later, he was called back into the room. As Mordechai approached the table, a smiling Reb Aharon told him that he had been accepted into the yeshiva. Mordechai couldn’t believe his good fortune. He immediately made preparations to travel to Lakewood, and he soon joined the other talmidim in Beis Medrash Govoha. Mordechai soon discovered that he was the youngest bachur in the yeshiva. I-le realized what a great opportunity he had been given, and he was determined not to waste a moment. He learned as much as he could, not only from Reb Aharon himself, but also from the other bachurim, who were much older and more experienced than he was. (In fact, Mordechai used to stand up for every single buchur in the Lakewood Yeshiva!) Considering his youth, Mordechai was hard—put to explain how Reb Aharon had been willing to accept him into the Yeshiva. The mystery remained for several years, until the conversation Rabbi Goldberg had had with Reb Aharon finally came to light. Rabbi Goldberg had been describing Mordechai’s family to Reb Aharon. He depicted his mother’s parents as upright Torah Iews; her father owned a hardware store, and he sat in the store with a sefer in his hands, which he learned from in between serving customers. He then went on to describe Mordechai’s father. He told Reb Aharon that the orphaned R’ Yonah Susna had come to America from Russia at the tender age of thirteen. The young Yonah had the good fortune to meet a G—d fearing man, who was a shamush in a shul on the Lower East Side of New York. The man offered to take the young boy into his home. There, he not only cared for the orphan, but he even taught him Torah. When R’ Yonah grew up and married, he and his wife decided to build a home based on Torah and chessed. In the shul where R’ Yonah davened, Beis Medrash Hagadol, there were many poor, homeless Iews who slept in the back of the shul, clothed in ripped and tattered garments. Every morning after davening, R’ Yonah would bring these people to his home for breakfast, where his wife served them fresh rolls and coffee. Unfortunately, these impoverished Jews were often intested with lice, and eventually his wife discovered that her home, too, was becoming infested. Regretfully, the Susnas decided that they would have to come up with a different way to provide for these people. Instead of bringing them into her house, R’ Yonah’s wife sent the rolls and coffee with him to shul every morning. One morning after davening, a poor man came over to R’ Yonah. “Can I ask you for a favor?” he whispered. “Of course, what can I do for you?” The man looked around furtively. “I’m in desperate need of a new set of clothing,” he told R’ Yonah quietly. R’ Yonah’s heart was torn. On the one hand, he knew    that he could not bring the man to his home. One the other hand, he desperately wanted to help out this poor ]ew. Suddenly R’ Yonah had an idea. “Wait right here!” he told the man. R’ Yonah went into a private room, removed his own clothing, and put on his heavy coat. Then he gave the poor man his clothing and returned home with only his coat. When Reb Aharon heard this story, he said to Rabbi Goldberg, “A son of such a holy Jew I most definitely want in my yeshiva!”    .    (Visions of Greatness 3) (tzedaka)
    1. Once, Rabbi Avraham Kahaneman, President of the Ponovezher Yeshivah and son of the illustrious Ponovezher Rav, approached a wealthy widow for a donation to his yeshivah. The woman happily wrote out a generous check and commented that she contributed to many such causes. Curious, R’ Kahaneman asked the woman which other causes she supported and she proceeded to list some of the world’s finest yeshivos and organizations. R’ Kahaneman was amazed. He knew that the woman’s husband had died fifteen years earlier and that she had no one to advise her where to give her charity. “l hope you don’t mind my asking,” he said, “but how is it that you have been able to distribute your tzedakah so wisely without anyone advising you?” “it’s really quite simple,” replied the woman. “The money my husband left me is ‘kosher money’ -— all of it was earned honestly and none of it was earned through chillul (desecration of) Shabbos. l forever pray that in this merit, my tzedakah should end up in the right hands. Thank G-d, Hashem continues to grant my request.” (Shabbos Stories 1) (tzedaka)
    1. Rabbi Naftali Riff served for many years as Rav of Camden, New Jersey. He was an outstanding Lalmid chacham and had a place in his heart for every Jew. He would seek out the poor in his area and strive to help them to the best of his ability. Late one night, he went to a nearby neighborhood to slip an envelope containing money under a poor person’s door. A policeman drove by and saw R‘ Riff bending down at the door. Not knowing the Rav, the officer suspected him of trying to break in. Before R‘ Riff could explain himself, the poor man, who had heard the commotion, opened the door. R‘ Riff knew that his explanation would cause the poor man some embarrassment. Therefore, he remained silent. it did not take long for the poor man to figure out what had happened. He asked the officer to step aside with him so that he would be out of the Rav’s earshot. The poor man told the officer, “This man is a rabbi; all he wanted to do was help me out by slipping some money under my door. in fact, if you’ll look over your shoulder, you’ll notice that he is trying to drag the money back with his foot so that it won’t be discovered.” The officer looked over his shoulder, then apologized to R‘ Riff and drove off. (Shabbos Stories 1) (not embarrass, tzedaka)
    1. In that difficult postwar period, Rav Yochanan Twersky, the Tolner Rebbe conceived a novel Way to help the destitute refugees, who were pitifully ill equipped to deal With the harsh Montreal Winters, but too proud to accept help. The Rebbe would arrive at the mikveb with layers of clothing, Wearing numerous jackets and sweaters. He would then conveniently “forget” them, announcing that anything left behind was befleer and free for taking. The Rebbe thus ensured that while their bodies were warm, their pride was intact. Once, after “forgetting” most of his clothing, the Rebbe was walking home, jacketless, in his shirt, and someone reprimanded him that this Was unbecoming for a Rebbe. The Rebbe laughingly replied, “For someone like me, it’s very becoming.” (Warmed By Their Fire) (tzedaka)
    1. The wellsprings of warmth and empathy that welled up from deep within him were not reserved for his chassidim alone. In fact, the lonelier and more forlorn the visitor, the greater the bounty of affection that was showered upon him. When meshulachim would arrive from Eretz Yisrael, their rounds inevitably included the bustling Bobover beis medrash, and often, they would take advantage of the open-door policy and visit the Bobover Rebbe. The Gemara speaks about being mefayes, placating an ani, a poor individual. The Ruv turned it into an art. “‘ “An Eretz Yisraelkrlik Yid, ” he would exclaim delightedly, echoing the cry he had heard as a child on those momentous occasions when a Yid from Eretz Yisrael would arrive in Galicia. The guest would be seated, and given refreshments, and most importantly, listened to. The Ruv would study the letters of recommendation that he carried, and would comment effusively. “A kollel yungerman, how Wonderful, di beste secboirab!” he would exclaim, or, “elef kinder, 11 children. You should have tremendous nacbas.” The weary eyes of the visitor Would brighten as he recalled his home, his children, and his friends at the kollel. The visitor Would revel in the reception. The hundreds of people who had barely glanced at the letters, Who had hardly even turned their heads in his direction, were forgotten, for this gentle, perceptive man, a man who carried the burdens of thousands of Yidden on his shoulders, had plenty of time. (Warmed By Their Fire) (tzedaka)
    1. A wealthy admirer of Rav Hirschprung passed away, leaving $l00,000 to the Rav. The Rav summoned a close confidant and asked him to compile a list of the many mosdos in town, and distribute the money equally. “But he left the money for the Rav’s personal use; why give it away?” asked the talmid, but the Rav would hear none of it. “Perhaps the Rav could put away the money for his children’s cbasunas,” he suggested, but again, the Rav, who had so little, spurned the idea. The talmid drew up the list, placing Beis Yaakov, which the Rav founded and heeded until his last day, at the top of the list. The Rav reviewed the list, and removed his school, Beis Yaakov, from the top, placing it together with all the city’s institutions. “I don’t want to pasken, to make a decision, based on personal negios, partiality. I am partial to the needs of the school, so it doesn’t belong where you placed it.” (Warmed By Their Fire) (tzedaka)
    1. Rav Hirschprung was totally in tune with the needs of others. His son once told him about a friend of his who desperately wanted new shoes for Yom Tov, but had been told by his father that they couldn’t afford it. The Rav listened, and asked his son how much the shoes would cost. “Sixty dollars,” was the reply. That evening, the Rav went especially to the shul where that father dawned. After davening, he asked the father to drive him home, and the young boy got into the car as well. The Rav asked him what he was learning, and began to farber him. When the boy answered his questions correctly, the Rav beamed at the father. “Your son knows it so well; he has given me such pleasure. I must give him something.” The Rav reached into his pocket and handed the father $60. “Go buy him something for Yom Tov,” he suggested. (Warmed By Their Fire) (tzedaka)
    1. Rav Kahaneman was originally the rav in Ponovezh, Lithuania. During the war, he wanted to save his family from the impending danger and made arrangements for them to leave the country. Tragically, they were not able to get out in time. I-le lost everything, but was determined to rebuild. When the naysayers tried to talk him out of buying a plot of land to rebuild the yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael, which was in grave danger itself at the time, the rav answered them, “Klal Yisrael needs a yeshivah. even if it is only for ten days!” Such was the vision and conviction of the Ponovezher Rav. Nothing would stand in his way. Such great men are sometimes lacking in the social skills that make them approachable to the common man, but that is where the rav was so different and unique. Our story begins in Teaneck, New ]ersey. Max Rosenberg. a prominent member of the community and a successful lawyer, suffered a heart attack. His doctors told him that it was time to take it easy, and suggested that he retire and move to Florida. Max refused. He kept on working until a year later, when he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. This time the doctors prescribed treatment, and. baruch Hashem, Max was healed. Nevertheless, he needed no more convincing; he retired and moved down to Florida even though he was still nearly 15 years away from the time he had originally planned to retire. As a means of supporting himself, he bought an annuity that was to pay him until he was 90 years old. He figured that he would be gone long before the annuity ran out. He could not have been more wrong. The Ponovezher Rav first met Max when he was in his 80’s. The rav would come down to Florida for a period of around three months in the winter to raise money for the yeshivah. The first time they met, Max gave him $5,000. The rav was impressed with Max, who was a smart man and a sincere jew. A year later. the rav went to Max again. and once more Max gave him $5.000. This pattern continued for the next few years. But finally. during one visit, the rav was told by his driver, Reb Berel, that since Max had turned 90, his annuity had ended. He had no more money to give the yeshivah. ln fact, Reb Berel said, Max may be short of cash even for his own needs. The rav said that he wanted to visit Max anyway”. Reb Berel was concerned that maybe Max would be embarrassed that he was unable to donate. but the rav prevailed. They arrived at Max’s home and rang the doorbell. Max answered the door. The look on his face said it all. He knew he could not give the rav the check for which he had come. They sat down to have some coffee and cake as Max explained the situation: that the annuity he had purchased had now expired, and he did not have enough to give anymore. The rav thanked him for all the support he had given the yeshivah over the past years. and said that now it was time for the yeshivah to pay him back. “From now on. every single month, the yeshivah is going to send you money in the amount of your annuity check!” Max’s face lit up. He thanked the rav, but politely refused. Nevertheless, the rav did not listen to his refusals. And so it was! Every single month, for the next seven years. the yeshivah sent Max a check. It may have been the first time a yeshivah supported its supporters, instead of vice versa. This is the way Max was able to live for the rest of his life. And what do you know? A few months after Max passed away, the yeshivah received a letter from the lawyer handling his estate. He had no children and he left his mansion on Pine Tree Drive to the yeshivah. Years later, Reb Berel would discover that, in fact, the rav had given his own money for Max’s living needs. This, Reb Berel thought, gave a whole new meaning to ‘fund-raising” -— a much deeper and more profound meaning than Reb Berel could ever have imagined.   (hakaras hatov, tzedaka)  (A Touch Of Warmth)
    1. The city of Kovno was known as one of the great Torah centers of Europe, a city that produced many great Torah personalities. Yet, somehow the people of the city overlooked one critical component of a Torah city: The hekdesh. hostel, where the beggars slept was unfit for such a great city, The rooms were musty and dirty, the windows were broken and allowed the bitter winds to whistle through, the lights were nonexistent, and the flimsy bug-infested mattresses were very poor excuses for beds. Kovno was not a rich city by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless, when word got out that the city’s hekdesh was in need of serious renovations. Rav Yisrael expected there to be a suitable response to the appeal; but there was not. None of the necessary repairs were done. Rav Yisrael felt that people did not care enough, and he decided that he was going to do something about it. He did not approach the rabbanim and demand that they speak about it in their shuls on Shabbos. nor did he call in some of the prominent baalebatim of the city and demand that they renovate the hekdesh. instead he himself went there. The mimidim who escorted him were shocked that a person of his stature would want to spend time in that decrepit place, but Rav Yisrael walked in with determination and sat down on the floor. The indigent people in the room were surprised that the rav had come to visit. They assumed that he would greet them and leave, but he did not. As he sat on the floor, he opened his sefarim and began to learn. After a few moments it began to rain, and the cold rain dripped in through the roof. Rav Yisrael’s talmidim encouraged him to leave. but he refused. Before long, there was no place to sit that was not wet, After a few hours passed, the fact that Rav Yisrael had not left the hekdesh became headline news in Kovno. Pretty soon. a small crowd formed outside, trying to convince Rav Yisrael to leave the dilapidated building. As it became dark. the rain continued. But although it was freezing cold, Rav Yisrael remained. Finally, some of the more prominent members of the city, a group of rabbanim, asked what it would take for him to leave. Rav Yisrael’s response resonated in the neshamos of those who were present. “l am not leaving this place until it is repaired to a point where any one of us would feel comfortable in it. lf we truly felt the pain of another Yid, we would never have let things get this bad.” Within a few hours, the repairs began and Rav Yisrael finally left. In a matter of days, the hekdesh was in excellent condition. (guests, tzedaka) (A Touch Of Warmth)
    1. A young kollel fellow who did not own his own apartment moved to the northern city of Tzefas [Safed] so that the burden his parents had assumed to pay the high rental fees for his apartment in Bnei Brak would be alleviated. One day, the new landlord came to discuss a delicate matter. ln a subdued tone of voice he explained that since he was undergoing very difficult times, he must ask the young man to vacate the apartment as someone else had offered a substantially higher rent than what he was currently getting. He expressed great sympathy for the young man’s situation, acknowledging that he would face tough times finding similar quarters for the rent he was paying, yet, circumstances made the decision final. He did, however, grant him a sufficient amount of time to search for another apartment. The young man was completely shattered. The very move to this distant city was for one, and only one, reason — namely, the financial savings. He felt that the rug was being pulled from underneath him. Not only would he not have gained anything, but he would actually have incurred a great financial loss. The move from one apartment to another with its related expenses would be staggering, involving expenditures that his parents could ill afford. A friend advised that since the landlord had some affiliation with the Chassidus of Ger, the koliei fellow should travel to Yerushalayim to discuss his predicament with the Gerrer Rebbe. Despite the fact that the young man had no involvement with Ger whatsoever, he accepted the advice and made the journey, trying his luck with the Rebbe. Arriving in Yerushalayim, he went directly to the home of the Gerrer Rebbe, Harav Pinchas Menachem Alter, and awaited his turn. As always, the line was long and after a couple of hours, he was ready to leave in frustration. He did, however, persevere and was ushered into the Rebbe’s study. lt was the first time in his life that the man had ever been face to face with a chassidic leader and it was only natural that he was quite nervous and apprehensive. His anxiety, though, did not last for long, for immediately upon his entrance the Rebbe welcomed him with a broad, friendly smile, thereby conveying the message: l am so happy to see you. The Rebbe began by asking some general questions. Then he turned to specifics regarding the young man’s learning, his family and his financial situation. Feeling at ease, the young man was able to articulate his specific problem -—his predicament regarding the apartment in Tzefas — in an orderly fashion. The Rebbe expressed great empathy for his difficulty, offering much needed encouragement to withstand the challenge, and blessed him with success. Several days passed and the first of the month arrived. As usual, the landlord came to collect the rent and the young man paid the amount he had paid previously. No one mentioned the impending move. The following month the same experience recurred with neither of them referring to the move. With the pressure easing, inertia followed; the young man and his family felt some sense of calm. For the most part, the apartment issue was forgotten. A long time later, while paying his rent, the young man reminded himself of the crisis he had faced earlier. As a matter of curiosity he asked the landlord what in essence had taken place that made the entire issue disappear. “Oh, its simple,” he said straightforwardly. “Every month l receive a check from Rabbi Alter to make up the difference in rent. You really don’t have to worry, since the checks arrive in a timely, almost automatic fashion.”    (Noble Lives Noble Deeds 3)  (tzedaka)
    1. “What is this?” exclaimed Baron Rothschild. “The Chofetz Chaim has returned most of the money which I sent him!” After hearing of the fame of ‘the Chofetz Chaim and his works, Baron Shimon Zeev Rothschild of Frankfort had instructed his charity secretary to order all of the Chofetz Chaim’s seforim and to send fifty marks as payment, But the Chofetz Chaim never accepted gifts and calculated the price of each Sefer according to an exact evaluation of his work including proofreading, packing and shipping. He therefore deducted fourteen marks as the price for the Seforim and returned the rest of the money with a letter. “Since I don’t accept gifts,” wrote the Chofetz Chaim, “I am returning the extra money. But if you so wish you can offer it as a contribution to our Yeshiva. The Baron was so astounded by this reaction that he ordered his secretary to multiply me sum considerably and send a generous contribution to the Yeshiva of Radin. He thereafter became a steady supporter of the Yeshiva and each year sent five thousand marks to the Chofetz Chaim for distribution among Torah scholars. But when he died his heirs stopped this practice and everyone was disappointed that such noble generosity had come to an end. The Chofetz Chaim, however, understood the reason, “People wonder why such a friend of Torah and Torah scholars as Reb Shimon Zeev Rothschild did not leave at least a million marks for Yeshivos. They fail to realize that such generosity is prevented by Heaven. Our Merciful G-d wants every Jew to have the opportunity of buying a share in Torah. If a millionaire who appreciates Torah would be free to do as he wishes he would purchase the entire merit of Torah support with his vast fortune. “How then would the poor cobbler or tailor have a chance to merit anything?” (Who Wants Life) (tzedaka)
    1. During Reb Shraga Feivel’s reign at Torah Vodaath, tuition was not a bar to anyone who wanted to learn. One day as he was walking through the hall, he heard the sobbing of a woman in the financial office. Going in to investigate, Reb Shraga Feivel found a woman who had three sons in the yeshivah begging for a tuition reduction. Reb Shraga Feivel signaled to one of those working in the office to follow him out of the room. Once they were outside, he told his assistant, ”Let’ s go see for ourselves how she is living.” It was only a few blocks from the Mesivta to the woman’s apartment. Knocking on the door, Reb Shraga Feivel and his assistant were admitted to a tiny apartment Whose very walls cried out the poverty within. Reb Shraga Feivel stopped only long enough to leave a few dollars on the table. l Back in the Mesivta office, he berated those who refused to grant the tuition reduction. “You are dealing here with dinei nefashos (matters of life and death). In the time you stood here arguing with her about whether to reduce her tuition from $5 to $3 dollars a month, you could have gone out and collected much larger sums.” He instructed the office staff that from then on they were to look favorably upon all requests for tuition reductions. (tzadeka) (Reb Shraga Feivel)
    1. When Batsheva Kanievsky’s mother, Shaina Chaya, was a young girl, her mother, Tziporah Chana, headed out to the makolet one cold wintry day and left 1-year-old Shaina Chaya in the care of her older brothers. Right in front of her house, an unfamiliar man — obviously poor — approached Tziporah Chana and asked for a drink. She asked if he could wait a few minutes While she picked up a few items from the makolet — but if he was very thirsty, she would bring him a drink immediately. He replied, “Please, I really need it now.” Tziporah Chana hurried back upstairs to get him a drink. While she was there, she checked on her children. The boys, who were supposed to be watching Shaina Chaya, were caught up in a game and were totally neglecting their babysitting duties. Meanwhile, the 1-year-old had fallen facedown into a bathtub full of water! Tziporah Chana quickly plucked Shaina Chaya out of the water and calmed the choking child. Then she went to thank the poor man and bring him his beverage — but he had disappeared. There was only one conclusion for Rebbetzin Tziporah Chana to draw: her chessed helped save her baby’s life. When R’ Aryeh’s brother-in-law, R’ Tzvi Pesach Frank, heard about the miraculous way Shaina Chaya had been saved from drowning, he said that since such a miracle occurred, he believed the girl was destined for greatness.     (tzedaka) (Rebetzin Kanievsky)
    1. Once, the Chazon Ish asked someone to deliver an envelope containing money to a needy individual named R’ Berger. The emissary‘ returned and said, “l went to R’ Weinberger as was requested of me.” The Chazon lsh was dismayed. The money had been intended for someone else; obviously, the emissary had heard wrong. The Chazon lsh immediately sent another envelope to the correct recipient. However, when a few days went by and the first recipient still had not returned the envelope, the Chazon lsh realized that Heaven had caused this mistake to happen, for until then no one had known that this person was in need. From that time on, that person also received an envelope from the Chazon lsh on a regular basis. (tzedaka)  (Five Great Leaders)
    1. A Jew approached the Satmar Rebbe and told him that his wife had become seriously ill and that in addition, his children were handicapped. The man said that he had huge medical expenses that he was unable to meet. The Rebbe heard all this with tears streaming from his eyes. He took all the money in his possession, and gave it to the petitioner. He did not stop there. He asked the Rebbetzin to lend him all the money she had available and also took loans from other people who were then in the house. When his main attendant, Reb Yossel Ashkenazi, arrived at the Rebbe’s house and heard the story, he said, “This man deceived you. He is a well-known trickster; his wife and children are perfectly healthy and they lack nothing…” As the Rebbe listened to this, his pained expression gave way to one of great joy. “Oh, thank you so much for telling me that! How  happy I am that his wife and children are healthy,” he said. “You  have no idea how upset I was when I heard him tell me how sick  they were .    (cheat, tzedaka, lend) (In Their Shadow Volume Three)
    1. Shortly after Menachem Begin was elected Prime Minister in 1977 Agudas Yisrael took a historic decision to join Prime Minister Begin’s coalition. As part of the coalition negotiations between Agudas Yisrael and Prime Minister Begin, I was appointed to meet Begin and convince him to raise the governments allocations for yeshivos and Torah institutions. Until that point, yeshivos» received only a small fraction of their operating budget from the government, while secular institutions received full funding. To my dismay, when I made my request for an increase in funding to the Prime Minister, he replied, “I am unwilling to raise the percentage of financial allowances for Torah institutions.” But my disappointment was not long lasting. Minister Begin“ immediately added, Why should I raise the percentage of funding I? I think that ‘Torah institutions should receive full support from the government, just like any other educational institution. I knew that as I was negotiating with the prime minister, the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah was meeting in Telz-Stone, a suburb just outside of Jerusalem. I could hardly wait to give wonderful news. Sure enough, my tidings were met with great excitement; I never received more blessings from the members of the Moetzes than when I shared Begin’s words with them. When the excitement in the room settled a bit, Rav Shach rose from his seat. From his expression, it was clear that powerful emotions were welling up inside. In a lion’s voice, he suddenly roared, “It is forbidden for us to agree to have Torah‘ institutions take full funding from the government, by virtue of a tradition received from the Chafetz Chaim himself!” Rav Shach then spelled out the Chafetz Chaim’s reasons for    not becoming fully dependent on the government. First,  merit of supporting Torah institutions belongs to Klal Yisrael as a whole, and we have no right to deny them that merit completely. Secondly, those collecting for Torah, institutions often make  powerful impact on those from whom they are collecting. When a wealthy balebos meets a Jew with beard and peyos, he is reminded of how his own ancestors looked and acted. The wealthy man’s attitude toward Torah may change, and he may even decide to send his children to a yeshivah. Most important, Chazal teach, “Do not become overly familiar with the government” (Pirkei Avos l:10).,We cannot rely on any government, even the best government. Today they may decide in our favor. But tomorrow — when the government changes or the interests of those in the government shift — this decision can easily be overturned. If at some point in the future the government decides to cut the allocations for Torah institutions, the yeshivos will be faced by a huge financial burden that they will be unable to meet. By that time, Torah institutions will have long ceased to raised funds, and they will find it very hard to start again. Benefactors will no longer be accustomed to giving freely to yeshivos, and it will be hard to convince them of the need once again. Therefore,” Rav Shach announced, with an air of finality, “no more than fifty percent of our funding can come from the government; the yeshivos must continue to raise the other fifty percent. I request that we write into our protocol that we will never take more than fifty percent ——at most sixty percent — of our funding from the government.” The other members of the Moetzes were shocked. They had been so excited by my news, and had, all been quite ready to accept the Prime Minister’s generous offer. Yet when they saw that Rav Shach felt so strongly about the issue, not a single member of the Moetzes argued against him, and his decision became final.    (tzedaka) (In Their Shadow Volume 1)
    1. During World War One it was obvious that a sweeping solution would have to be found for the large number of refugees that was multiplying hourly. As the Ponevizher Rav was gathering funds and provisions to accommodate the influx, it was brought to his attention that with the proper amount of money some Jews in Poland could be saved. Without a second’s hesi- tation he signed a check to the person who had supplied him with this information, leaving the amount blank. “There must be some mistake, ” the man said, pointing to the empty line. But the Ponevizher Rav had not erred. “You will know how much is needed, so you must fill in the amount; I can only tell you; how much I currently have in my account.”    Years later, this man with the check became an official in ,“Aliyat Hanoar,” an lsraeli government official in charge of the absorption of young immigrants, which helped subsidize the Batei Avos for orphans that the Ponevizher Rav had established in Bnei Brak. It was highly unusual for Aliyat Hanoar to provide money to a religious institution and this very fellow was instructed to snoop around the Batei Avos and see if there was a reason to disqualify the institution from funding. But he refused to cooperate with the plan, announcing unequivocally that there was no need to make an inspection, for the Ponevizher Rav was above reproach.   (Builders)
    1. Reb Yechezkel personally gave generously to a number of causes especially yeshivos. When a certain gadol described his yeshiva’s financial crisis, Reb Yechezkel immediately approached a wealthy Jew and sought his support. The man agreed to donate the entire sum needed, on condition that Reb Yechezkel would explain the words of the Chazal, “Gado1hama’aseh min ha ’oseh” he who petitions the doer is greater than the one who actually performs the deed.‘ ~ “After all,” said the rich man, “why should the Rabbi’s reward be greater than mine? It is I who am donating the money!” Reb Yechezkel replied: “When I knocked on your door, I was so nervous I could hear my heart thump. You did not have to experience this fear… overcoming this trepidation is worth far more than the sum that you are donating.”  (collect tzedaka)  (Sunset, by Rabbi Hanoch Teller)
    1. Right after the war, there was a young girl who had been so poor that she walked around the DP camp with no socks. Upon seeing her one day, the Klausenberger Rebbe took off his socks in the middle of the street and gave them to her, saying, “It is unbecoming for a Jewish girl” to have to walk around this way.” (The Klausenberger Rebbe) (tzedaka)
    1. Rav Itzele Gewirtzman would give his money freely to tzedaka. He would say that to him a coin was a mitzvah artifact just like an esrog or tefillin. (The Torah Personality) (tzedaka)
    1. Once one of Reb Yisroel Salanter’s more ascetic students questioned Reb Yisroel about the way he cared for others’ material needs to the point of indulging them. This was in total contradiction to his personal practice of self-denial and discipline. “Aren’t you spoiling them, Rebbe” they asked? Reb Yisroel responded: ”Yenem’s gashmiyus iz mein ruchniyus — taking care of the other fellow’s material needs is my spiritual need. ”     (The Torah Personality) (tzedaka)
    1. When the fame of the Baal Shem Tov spread far and wide, one man who had heard of his greatness was determined to see this phenomenon for himself He made his way to Mezhibozh where the Baal Shem Tov resided, and was warmly received. “And how can I be of help to you?” The Baal Shem Tov asked him. “I have no need of help, ” the man replied. “Thank G-d, I and my family are well. lhave a thriving business, and all my needs are met. I did not come to ask for anything, just to, have the opportunity to meet you. ” ‘ “Well, if you feel you have no needs, “the Baal Shem tov said, “perhaps you will listen to a story I have for you. But you must listen attentively.” – The Baal Shem Tov continued, “There were once two young boys who grew up together and became close friends. They attended the same Ch8Cl€lj and always played together. Baruch and Chaim were inseparable, and every- one knew that wherever Baruch was, there you would find Chaim as well. Their friendship continued through their adolescence and well into their early adulthood, and they were about as inseparable as Siamese twins. “When they married, Chaim married a young woman from a distant town to the east, and Baruch married a woman from a distant town to the west. As was the cus- tom, they moved to live with the wifes family, and for the first time in their lives, they were separated. They pledged to remain in close contact and continue ‘their friendship    unto eternity. Initially, they exchanged letters frequently, but as time passed and their families grew and there were so many distractions, the communication began to wane until it ultimately stopped completely. “Chaim and Baruch each went into business and prospered, but life is often a cycle, and as the wheel turns, what was once at the top is later at the bottom, and this is what happened to Baruch. His business failed and he was penniless. Remembering that he had a devoted childhood friend, he felt that perhaps Chaim would come to his aid, and borrowing money for the trip, he traveled to Chaim’s town. Upon seeing Baruch, Chaim embraced him with tears of love, and the two sat and reminisced for hours. Baruch finally told Chaim of the misfortune that had be- fallen him, whereupon Chaim called in his bookkeeper and asked him to calculate» the value of all his assets. Once he received the figure, he promptly wrote out a check, giv- ing half of everything he owned to Baruch, who thanked him profusely and returned home. “With the capital to invest, Baruch started a new busi- ness and prospered. But lo and behold! As Baruch’s mazal ascended, Chaim’s mazal descended, so that now Baruch was wealthy and Chaim was impoverished. Remembering their devotion to one another, Chaim came to Baruch for help. How utterly disappointed he was when Baruch said, “Chaim, I would love to help you, but the pattern is clear It is not destined for both of us to prosper at one time. If one of us succeeds, the other will fail. If I put you back into business and you prosper; I know that I will lose every- thing. I realize that out of our deep friendship I should make this sacrifice, but while I may waive my own wel- fare, I do not have the right to sacrifice the welfare of my large family, my children and grandchildren who are de- pendent on me for their livelihood.” Chaim returned home empty handed and broken hearted.    “Years passed by, and both Baruch and Chaim went to the eternal world. When they. appeared before the Heavenly Tribunal, Chaim was awarded Paradise for his loyalty and generosity to Baruch, whereas Baruch was condemned to Gehinnom for turning his back on his friend at his time of need. Chaim then said, “How can I enjoy Paradise when I know, that the friend of my youth is suffering the torments of Gehinnom? True, Baruch was unable to withstand the test to which he was put, and he put his self-interest first, “but that is no reason to condemn him to Gehinnom. I will not enter Paradise unless Chaim can accompany me. ” ‘ “The Heavenly Tribunal said that this was out of the question, that behavior as outrageous as Baruch’s rejection of Chaims plea for help cannot go unpunished, but Chaim was adamant. He will not enter Paradise if Baruch is doomed to Gehinnom.” I At this point the‘Baal Shem Tov said to the man, “Now listen carefully, and look me in the eye.” ‘  _ The Baal Shem Tov continued, “The Heavenly Tribunal debated over the situation and came up with a solution for this dilemma. Both Chaim and Baruch will be sent down to Earth for another life span. Baruch will be wealthy and Chaim will be poor. If Baruch will help Chaim in this renewed existence, Baruch will have rectified his wrongdoing and redeemed himself, and will be permitted to join Chaim in Paradise. ‘ ‘ “And so it came to be, ” the Baal Shem Tov said. “The souls of the two came down to Earth again, and the person having Baruch’s soul became wealthy, while the person bearing Chaim’s‘ soul was pool; a beggar who survived on alms. The beggar would keep only pennies. for himself and gave everything he collected to his wife and small children. . “One day the beggar, making his rounds from village to village, came to the town where the wealthy man lived.    He was weary and hungry, and did not feel that he had the strength to continue. Perhaps someone would be gen- erous enough to give him an adequate sum, so that he could rest a bit and restore his failing strength. Winter was approaching, the children would need shoes and warm clothes, and they would need firewood to keep their house warm and dry. If he could only speak to a wealthy man in person and explain his plight, perhaps he could prevail upon him for a sum which would meet his fami- ly’s many needs. “The beggar knocked on the door of the wealthy man, and was met by the butler; who gave him the usual dole of a few pennies. ‘Please let me talk for just a few moments with your master,’ he said. The butler explained that this was impossible, since his master was occupied with im- portant business dealings. The beggar began to cry, ‘Ask your master to have mercy and spare me just a few min- utes of his time to listen to me..’ ~ ‘ “The wealthy man, hearing the commotion, asked the butler what the problem was, and he explained that there was a stubborn beggar who would not accept the alms he gave him and was insisting on meeting with the master personally. The wealthy man became angry. ‘These beg- gars are a thankless lot! The audacity they have. If he refuses to leave, throw him out!’ The butler did as he was told, and threw the beggar down the stairs. Exhausted, hungry, and depressed, the beggar breathed his last and expired. ” v As the Baal Shem Tov said these last words, the visitor took hold of his head with his hands and exclaimed, “Ribono Shel Olam! That is what happened to me! Just last week a pesky beggar refused to take what my butler gave him, and I had him thrown out, and he died right in front of my house! But how was I to know that I was being put to the test? It is common for many beggars to be dissatisfied    with what they receive and they ask for more. I did not mean to be the cause of his death! What can I do to redeem myself now?” ~ The Baal Shem Tov said, “The Divine system of justice is perfect. You were given the opportunity to rectify what you had done wrong in a previous existence. Had your riches not hardened your heart, you would have listened to the beggar, and perhaps the relationship of your two souls would have resulted in him impressing you “with his needs, and you would have responded appropriately, thus correcting the previous mistake‘ . – “Now, ” the Baal Shem ‘Tov said, “you still have an opportunity to redeem yourself You must leave for yourself only enough to meet the necessities of life for yourself and your family, and you must take all the rest of your wealth and give it to the widow and orphans of the beggar I know that this is a major sacrifice, but this is the only way you will know peace both in this world and in the World to Come. ”     (Not Just Stories By Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twersky) (tzedaka)
    1. Not far from Lizhensk, the home of the chassidic mas- ter Rabbi Elimelech, there lived a man whose household staff, included a young man named Benzi. Benzi had been taken into this man’s home as a young orphan, and the man “had provided for his education and otherneeds until he was old enough to work for him. Benzi heard from some of the townsfolk. that there was a great tzaddik in the nearby town ofLizhensk, and he went to see Rabbi Elimelech, who received him warmly. Rabbi Elimelech told Benzi to ask his employer whether he might be in need of someone to help with the cooking, because there was a young woman named Blima, also orphaned at an early age, who needed a job. Benzi carried the tzaddik’s message and the employer did*indeed hire Blima. . Benzi and Blima became friends and eventually decided to marry, but delayed their marriage until they would save up enough money to set up a home. Benzi and Blima both gave whatever they earned to their employer for safekeep- ing. But alas!‘ One day a fire broke out, totally destroying the property with all that was in it, including their sav- ings. Their ‘employer now found himself impoverished, and Benzi and Blima had to seek work elsewhere. They eventually found work in different places, and continued to save their money so that they would have enough to make a start in their married life. V A little more than a year went by, and one day Benzi noted, among a troupe of beggars who had come to town for alms, his former employer. He was devastated to see his previous benefactor in so sorry a state, and he embraced him tearfully. The man told Benzi that after the fire his business had failed, and he was now destitute. “The world is but a cycle, Benzi,” he said. “As the wheel turns, those who were once on top find themselves on the bottom. [have sunk so low that I think my fortunes may now begin to rise again. I have to beg for‘ alms, and I am saving pennies to try my luck again. I will buy some mer- chandise and peddle it; and hopefully gradually increase my earnings, and perhaps one day be of some means again.”    Benzi’s heart went out to the man who had been so kind to him. He rushed off to Blima and told her that he had met their former employer, and how he had fallen to being a beggar. “Blima, ” he said, “I believe he can do well again if he has the opportunity, but it may take him forever to save enough money from the alms he receives. I want to take the money I have saved and give it to him.» It will mean that we may have to postpone our marriage agbit longer until I can save more money, but I cannot see this man who did so much for me in my childhood go with -a troupe of beggars from door to door.” Blima wiped away her tears and said, “I/‘you can give him your money, Benzi, then I will give him mine too. ” She fetched the money she had saved, and Benzi ran off to find his friend, and gave him all their money. The man wept profusely at the young couple’s sacrifice for him, at first re- fusing to take their life savings, but as Benzi insisted, he said, “I know G-d will bless you for this, and I have great hope that this will be the beginning of my salvation. ” Shortly afterward, Benzi again visited Rabbi Elimelech, and related what had happened to him and Blima. Rabbi Elimelech said, “It is time for -you to marry. We will arrange for your wedding, and as for money, G-d will bless you. ” Rabbi Elimelech and his disciples made all arrange- ments for the wedding, and it was a most joyous event, attended by all the townsfolk. The tzaddikim attending the wedding danced with écstatic simchah, and Rabbi Elimelech then instructed his young disciple Reb Naftali, who later was known as the Rabbi of Ropschitz, to an- nounce the wedding gifts as was customary. Rabbi Elimelech was the first to declare, “I give the young couple one of the mansions of the poritz (the feudal lord)/’ Reb Mendel, who was later the Rabbi of Rimanov, declared, “l give the couple the flour mill of the poritz, ” and Reb Naftali    said, “And I will give them 1,000 ducats. ” The guests at the wedding hughed politely, taking these declarations of gifts as just part of the merrymaking. After the wedding, the young couple made their way to the hut in the nearby woods which was to be their home. As they entered the woods, they heard a cry for help, and following the voice, they came upon a pond of quicksand, wherein a young man was struggling to stay afloat. Benzi quickly removedqhis jacket, and tearing it into strips, fashioned a rope which he threw to the young man, and he and Blima pulled the young man from the quicksand. The young man thanked them profusely, and told them that he was the son of the poritz, and had been out horse- back riding. He had imbibed a bit too much and had lost his way in the woods, and then his horse threw him into the quicksand. “Had you not come upon me just then, I would have died. ” Benzi took the young man into his hut, ‘allowed him to wash up, and gave him some clean) clothes. He and Blima then escorted the young man out of the woods, ‘back to his father’s estate. The poritz and his wife, who had been worried and anxious because of their son’s failure to return from his ride, were overjoyed to see him, and when he told them that this newlywed couple had saved him from certain death, the poritz said, “l will give these newlyweds a home they deserve. They can have one of my mansions.” The wife of the poritz said, “And for a livelihood, I will give them our flour mill. ” The young prince then added, “And I will give them, as a token of my gratitude, a thousand ducats. ” Benzi and Blima later visited Rabbi Elimelech, who told them-, “Your sacrifice of giving everything you had saved as izeddakah to your former employer, and your doing so with a sincere desire to help him, was so meritorious    that you deserved a gteat reward. When we announced our gifts, we did so as blessings that we knew would be fulfilled.”    (Not Just Stories By Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twersky) (tzedaka)
    1. There is a famous story which shows the Rosh Yeshiva’s extreme care in the Mitzvoh of Tzedokah and possibly related obligations. The Rosh Yeshiva was Walking in Eretz Yisroel when suddenly he went out oi his way to give Tzedokoh to a poor man and gave him, it seems, twice the amount he would normally give. When asked, the Rosh Yeshiva explained that a few years ago, on a previous trip, he had seen that poor man and Wanted to give him a donation, but was out of money. He therefore took a good look at the man to make sure that, if he sees him again, he will make up for it. (The Legacy of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler) (tzedaka)
    1. Reb Dovid Spiegel tells another story involving Tzedokoh and the general Yiras Shomayim and concern that the Rosh Yeshiva ‘had about the con- sequences of his deeds. Reb Dovid accompanied the Rosh Yeshiva as they Went to the Sfardisher Shul in Boro Park to daven. A poor lady Was sitting there collecting Tzedokah and the Rosh Yeshiva took out some of the Tzedokah money the Rebbetzin had prepared for him, and gave it to Reb Dovid to give to her. When they left the lady was still there and a new collector, this time it was a man, had also come. By now the Rosh Yeshiva Was out of money and he motioned to Reb Dovid to give for him. The Rosh Yeshiva then asked him if he gave the lady also and Reb Dovid said he didn’t. The Rosh Yeshiva said “Nein nein, you must give her” He did, of course. A little While later Reb Dovid asked the Rosh Yeshiva Why he insisted on giving her too, she already got on the Way in. The Rosh Yeshiva “Kdei er zol nisht kennen zoggin, ich hub em gigebbin, un nisht ir – so that he not say I gave him and not her” [Chillul Hashem? He might think men shouldn’t give Tzedokah to ladies? He might try to insult her? One thing we are certain of — everything was thought through to the end with Daas Torah.] (The Legacy of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler) (tzedaka)
    1. He heart, did not have to know the person well to take his plight to as one man testified: My contact with Shlomie was being part of the same min- yan, on occasion, at Rabbi Landau’s shul in Flatbush. t One day I met him at the Diamond District on 47th Street in Manhattan. I asked him what he was doing there and he replied that his daughter was getting married the following night, and he had come to buy a piece of jewelry. He asked me what my parnasah (livelihood) was, and I replied that I had been laid off from work six months earlier When I told him my profession, he took out his cell- phone and made call after call on my behalf. He succeeded in arranging a job interview for me. Astounded, I said, “Why are you doing this? You are so busy — you ’re making a wedding tomorrow night!” Shlomie did not seem to understand my question. “I should go to the chuppah and you shouldn’t have a job?”    19 Shloime!, By Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, Published by Artscroll Mesorah (tzedaka, chppah)
    1. Tsemach Glenn related: “I was sitting in Shlomie’s office one day when a stranger walked in seeking a donation. The man enumer- ated multiple tzaros he and his family were enduring, enough to make any heart melt. Shlomie gave him $1,000. When the man left, he turned to me and said, ‘I hope he was lying.” Shlomie was very astute, and experience had taught him that while most fundraisers are honest, a small minority are not. Despite the fact that he was not convinced that this man’s story was true, he helped him generously on the chance that it was.    169 Shloime!, By Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, Published by Artscroll Mesorah (tzedaka)
    1. Rabbi Shimon Yanofsky asked Shlomie to help a talmid cha- chum with his daughter’s wedding expenses. Shlomie asked, “How much do you need to raise?” . “$hlomie,” Rabbi Yanofsky responded, “you know what it costs to make a wedding today.” “But tell me what your goal is,” Shlomie responded. “How much do you need?” V “It makes no difference, Shlomie. Give me whatever you want to give.” ~ This give and take continued until Shlomie withdrew his check- book, signed a check, handed it to his friend, and said, “You fill in the amount.” 171 Shloime!, By Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, Published by Artscroll Mesorah (tzedaka)
    1. Before Pesach the Steipler distributed large sums to students with families for the needs of the yam tov. Once he decided to allocate one hundred dollars to a particular student, and he gave the sum to a helper to deliver it to the student in question. Afterwards, he couldn‘t remember clearly what he had done, and he thought he might have given only fifty dollars. When the money in the helper’s possession was checked, it was found that he actually had two one hundred dollar bills stuck together. The helper wanted to re- turn the extra hundred, but the Steipler wouldn’t let him. “No. If they‘ve gotten stuck together, it must mean that he needs both of them.“ “But then someone else will lose out on his share,” the helper objected. “It’s all right. I‘ve already made a note to deduct the second hundred from the funds to be distributed next year.” He absolutely refused to take back any of the extra money.     The Steipler, By Rabbi Moshe Sofer, Published by CIS page 261 (tzedaka)
    1. According to the custom of the time, a rav who was mesader kiddushin at a wedding would receive from the two families a sum of money directly proportionate to the wealth of the families. Once, R. Chaim was mesader kiddushin at the wedding of two children of very wealthy parents, who presented him with a sealed envelope full of bills. Shortly afterwards, a poor man approached him and began to describe his sad situation, how he had not a cent with which to buy food for his family. Without a word, R. Chaim reached into his pocket and gave the man the envelope he had just received – this without even opening it! The Brisker Rav, By R’ Shimon Yosef Meller, Published By Feldheim page 58 (tzedaka)
    1. Although the mitzvos are A duty, they are a duty that a person has no desire to avoid. According to The Brisker Rav, this meant that when he was presented with a mitzvah, he would not rest for a moment until it was done. To the extent that mitzvos were a burden to him, so, too, he loved them, making sure to perform them properly. R. Menachem Porush tells the following enlightening story, which instructs us how one should relate to fulfilling mitzvos: One Friday, I was called to come to The Brisker Rav’s home. When I arrived, he told me of a certain talmid ch/zcham who was in very difficult financial circumstances. He had called me to ask me to find a way to help him out of his crisis. “I have no rest over this,” he said. We discussed various solutions to the problem, and afterwards I went home. About half an hour before Shabbos, I received another urgent message to corne to his home, and of course I made my way there as quickly as possible. The Brisker Rav then told me that he had just thought of someone who might be able to help in the matter and that we should write him a letter requesting help. I sat and began writing, taking dictation from The Brisker Rav. When I finished the job, I could not resist asking him: “Please explain, Rabbeinu. There are only a few minutes left before Shabbos. It is clear that we won’t be able to send the letter -now, since the post office closed hours ago already. Why, then, did you find it necessary to call me now? If l would have come and written theletter immediately after Shabbos, it would have been delivered at the same time!” The Brisker Rav raised his eyebrows at the question. He looked at me with eyes full of warmth and kindness. ”R. Menachem, I am surprised at you. Am I so sure I will live until tomorrow?! Everything I am able to do I must do immediately without delay.” And then he added, “My father taught me that one must ‘break down walls’ to help others.”    The Brisker Rav Volume Two, By R’ Shimon Yosef Meller, Published by Feldheim, page 426 (tzedaka)
    1. Yisroel grossman, zt”l, related: I was once asked by a certain Rav to ask The Brisker Rav for help in the case of a talmid chacham who was very ill. Besides the high costs of the medieal care, the man had a family to support and he was destitute. I myself, R. Grossman added, found it strange: Here I was being requested to go to the Brisker Rav to ask for help when The Brisker Rav himself was in a very trying financial position. But the rav was so insistent that I just could not refuse. And so, I went to The Brisker Rav’s home and told him the sad story of the sick talmid chacham who needed help so desperately. The Brisker Rav listened to me intently, but said he could not possibly help, since his own situation was so difficult. I felt very uncomfortable; I had known this beforehand. However, I felt I had to justify myself, and told him that I knew it was not appropriate to ask him for financial help, but the rm; had pleaded so persistently that I felt I had no choice but to come and ask. I then took my leave from him and went back home.    The very next day, very early in the morning, I heard someone knocking on my door; to my surprise, it was The Brisker Rav’s son, R. Refoel, “My father,” he said immediately, ”couldn’t sleep the whole night after hearing from you about the talmid chacham’s dilemma, especially since you mentioned that his life was potentially in danger. Hearing that the situation was so bad, he could not rest. ”First thing in the morning, he asked me to go to the home of a certain wealthy friend and ask for a large sum as a loan. I was then instructed to bring the money directly to you. Here is the envelope with the money.” The Brisker Rav Volume Two, By R’ Shimon Yosef Meller, Published by Feldheim, page 431 (tzedaka)
    1. Once a wealthy tourist visiting from America offered a large donation to the Ponevezh yeshiyah as a tribute to his parents. In the course of his discussion with the Rav, the gentleman remembered that his father had learned in Slobodka in his youth, at which point Rabbi Kahaneman suggested that it would be more fitting for him to make his contribution to the Slobodka yeshivah (also located in Bnai Brak). For the Love of Torah, By Hanoch Teller, Published by Feldheim page 158 (tzedaka)
    1. On another occasion, a rosh yeshivah from Jerusalem who was on a fundraising mission in America, entered a shul on his itinerary and found it packed. At first the rabbi couldn’t believe how fortunate he was, in that all of the town’s potential donors were congregated under one roof. That was until he realized why they were there. The large and enthusiastic crowd had gathered to hear a celebrated guest speaker from overseas; Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman. As the Ponevezher Rav began to deliver his legendary electrifying appeal for greater learning and Torah observance, his colleague became crestfallen and began calculating his losses. The Rosh Yeshivah wearily girded himself for the Rav’s segue into the wisdom of contributing to the Ponevezh yeshivah. He was thunderstruck when the Ponevezher Rav, having noticed the visitor’s entrance into the shul, appealed for the audience to contribute handsomely to the Jerusalem yeshivah that he represented. For the Love of Torah, By Hanoch Teller, Published by Feldheim page 158 (tzedaka)
    1. There was an unsuccessful appeal for the Satmar Yeshiva in the Tzehlimer Beis Midrash; Afterwards, the Tzehlimer Rebbe said to the Rebbe, “I don’t understand it. ‘In your beis medrash there is an appeal for your Yeshiva every week, and it’s always successful” The Rebbe replied, ‘I have already gotten my Kehillah members into the habit of giving; it has become their nature.”“ Once, the Rebbe asked Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl if he would be making his regular appeal for the Nitra iahiva in the Satmar Beis Midrash that coming Shabbos. Rabbi Weissmandl replied that the Kehillah members had advised him to wait one more week, since the previous Shabbos there had been another appeal, and the chassidim were not likely to give generously so soon afterward. The rebbe said, “That’s what a layman thinks, but the opposite is true. One mitzva leads to another. Since they were warmed up last Shabbos, they will give this Shabbos as sell. But if you wait, they will cool, off. (tzedaka) The Rebbe The Extraordinary Life and Worldview of Rebeinu Yoel Teitelbaum By Rabbi Dovid Meisels page 197
    1. In 1937 he came to Belgium to conduct a campaign on behalf of his yeshivah. He approached a certain talmid chachnm, Rabbi Yehoshua Grossvogel of Heide, to join him in making house calls on potential contributors. Reb Yehoshua was reluctant; he had never before engaged in this type of activity. He was afraid of the humiliation that might ensue. Reb Elchonon sensed what was going through Reb Yehoshua’s mind. “You should know,” he said, “that if it is your lot to be humiliated, then you will suffer it at home regardless, either through your wife or neighbors. You will not escape. If so, isn’t it better to attribute such humiliation, if indeed you receive some, to the merit of Torah. (fundraise)
    1. Reb Simcha Zissel’s father, Rabbi Yisrael Braude, knew every page of the Talmud, with Tosafos and the Maharshu’s commentary, as if he had just learned it. After some early, but short-lived, successes in business, he served for the rest of his life as a dayan in Kelm. The Alter himself testified that his mother, Chaya, never walked more than four amos (cubits) without thinking Torah thoughts. She made a practice of collecting money for poor families at local funerals, a practice from which she did not deviate even at the funeral of her only daughter. When others remonstrated with her, she replied, ”Must the poor suffer just because I’m in aveilus (mourning)?”‘ Rav Dessler, By Rabbi Yonason Rosenblum, Published by Artscroll Mesorah, page 37 (mourning, collect tzedaka, funeral)
    1. Renia Finkelstein’s mother founded an organization that she called, “For the Needy Who Are Ashamed to Beg.” She was successful in her work. When she collected money for her organization, she visited only friends, relatives, and wealthy people who could afford to be generous. Mrs. Finkelstein was also a close friend of Frau Schenirer; the two sometimes set out to collect charity together. Frau Schenirer approached storekeepers. If they knew her, they would hand over a five-zloty bill. Otherwise, she would get only one zloty or half a zloty. But she would not turn down even a quarter. Mrs. Finkelstein begged Frau Schenirer not to visit places that gave her groschen only. “You are demeaning yourself,” she said. Frau Schenirer answered with a smile: “My dear, by knocking on a door where I get only 25 grush, I earn merit for three people: the one who gives it, the one who receives it, and the one who collects it. How can I deprive them of giving charity, even if only in a small way?” Carry Me in Your Heart, By Pearl Benisch, page 140 (collecting tzedaka)
    1. Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz was unceasing in his efforts to raise money for the Jews in Europe. He was a talented orator and a gifted fainter, a skill he would employ to direct attention to the plight of the Jews. His grandson related how Rabbi Kalmanowitz was unpopular for his schnoring during the war years, when it was possible to save a life for pocket change. No matter whom he would meet he would appeal for life-saving money. At one synagogue function he was noticed approaching the building, and measures were immediately taken to prevent him from entering. But they weren’t quick enough. Rabbi‘ Kalmanowitz entered the building and everyone knew that an appeal would soon follow. This was something they could not allow Vainly, the rabbi tried to put the crowd at ease “I don’t want to speak,” he pledged to a swarm of unbelieving eyes. ‘All I want to do is say one word.” “One word?” Why, even the greatest fund solicitors in history could not crack open wallets with just one word. It was a safe gamble to let the rabbi speak, they reasoned, and he certainly had them intrigued! _ Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz ascended to the podium and waited for the crowd to fall silent, and then thoroughly unexpectedly—he sighed, “AAAyyy,” and fell to the floor in a dead faint. The frantic crowd beckoned, “Breng vasserl” as everyone looked on in anxious horror. When the apprehension had climaxed, Reb Avraham lifted one eye and commented, “Vasser brengt mi? Breng geltl”    For the Love of Torah, By Hanoch Teller, Published by Feldheim page 45 (fundraising)
    1. Rabbi Naftali and Rebbetzin Pessia Carlebach (parents of the famous Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach) were not people of means. Torah study was Rabbi Naftali’s only occupation. and Pessia, who helped support the family by working as a bookbinder. never had cash to spare. Yet they kept an open house for visiting scholars and made rzeduka a household rule. In the days after World War l, when the Carlebach family lived in Berlin, any visiting rosh yeshiva or charity collector made for their home, knowing that generous hospitality would be available there—as well as good advice, if required. The economic recession that hit Eastern Europe in the late tqzos caused great hardship, and starvation menaced the renowned yeshiva of Ponevezh in Lithua- nia. “If there is no flour, there is no Torah,” the Sages declared, and the cessation of Torah study became an immediate danger. in view of the situation. Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, who was then roish yeahiva. decided to conduct a fundraising tour abroad, visiting one city after another and calling on potential benefactors. Unfortunately, the Iews of Eastern Europe were not the only ones facing hard times: before long, the recession affected communities elsewhere. The number of people requesting charity multiplied, and for every penny of tzedaka, a dozen hands were outstretched. To make matters worse, businessmen in the West also began to suffer. Stock markets crashed, trade slumped, and wealthy folk were impoverished. in desperation. the Ponevezher Rabbi kept trudging around seeking donations, but the money he raised did not even cover his travel expenses. Eventually, he arrived in Berlin, located the Carle- bach family’s address, and went straight there in the hope of receiving advice and assistance in contacting possible donors. Rabbi Naftali promptly invited him to have a meal and a rest after his difficult journey. While chatting with his host, the Ponevezher Rabbi told Rabbi Carlebach about the grim situation in Lithuania and mentioned the failure of their brethren in Germany and neighboring lands to give a helping hand. Recently, for example. a Polish-Jewish magnate had sent only meager donations with letters bewailing his own misfortunes; another philanthropist. who had previously covered one third of the yeshiva’s expenses. was now barely able to make ends meet. Rabbi Kahaneman discussed these problems at length until his voice gave out. Hearing their guest’s tale of woe as she prepared a meal in the kitchen, Rebbetzin Pessia Carlebach was struck to the heart. “You’re going to stay here with us.“ she insisted. “and tomorrow. with God’s help. there may be a solution to your problem.” Bright and early the next morning, when everyone was fast asleep. she got up, gathered all her jewelry and treasured possessions, quietly left the house. and nego- tiated a loan at the pawnbroker’s. Once back home. she went to the rosh yeshiva and joyfully presented him with a substantial check. The Ponevezher Rabbi took a hard, silent look at this check. On the one hand. it would enable him to revitalize the yeshiva and its students: on the other hand, it was not difficult to guess how she had obtained the money, and for fear of endangering her financial situation. he could not bring himself to accept the “poor man’s lamb.“ “Well,“ said the raah yeahiva, “this is indeed a house of God. and the benevolence practiced here knows no bounds. But accepting this money would run coun- ter to the Sages‘ injunction that one shold give at least a tenth, but no more than a fifth of one’s means be devoted to charity. Giving tzedaka must not turn anyone into a beggar. and your donating this large sum could easily put your own households finances in jeopardy.” “True enough,“ replied Rebbetzin Carlebach. “As you say. no more than a fifth of one’s assets may be spent on tzodaka. But my obiect in performing the mitzuah is also to educate our children. And the Sages say that for the sake of education. any financial sacrifice is permitted.”‘    (Jewish Tales of Holy Women) (tzedaka, honor to torah)
    1. R’ Moshe’s modest salary as Rosh Yeshivah was sufficient to provide for his family. in fact, their needs were so simple that R’ Moshe and his rebbetzin were able to use a significant portion of his salary to contribute generously to tzedakah. So large were R’ Moshe’s contributions in proportion to his income that the Internal Revenue Service questioned his income tax return regularly. Virtually every year, he, his accountant, ‘or a member of the yeshivah staff would appear at an IRS audit to show proof of R’ Moshe’s contributions. (maser) (5 Great Lives)
    1. A YOUNG MAN WHO WAS ENTERING THE REAL ESTATE FIELD asked if Shlomie could meet with him to provide some tips for success. An appointment was made. Shlomie greeted the fellow, asked that he be seated, and to the young man’s surprise, withdrew his own checkbook. He proceeded to date 12 checks, one per month, for the next 12 months. He said, “If you want to be successful, write 12 head checks, one for each month of the year. Choose a worthy tzeda- kah and fill in an amount that will be a generous portion of your profits. That’s the best advice that I can give you.” He then pro- ceeded to explain the ins and outs of real estate dealings.    155 Shloime!, By Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, Published by Artscroll Mesorah (maser)