The Daily Blast

Rabbi Arieh Friedner
Chief Operating Officer Daily Giving

Rabbi Friedner says we should give Tzedaka during Elul and that giving should be a part of who we are.

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וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רֹעַ הַגְּזֵרָה.
‘ונתנה תוקף, ד

But repentance, prayer and righteousness avert the severity of the decree.

-Unetaneh Tokef 4

וְאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק: אַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים מְקָרְעִין גְּזַר דִּינוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם, אֵלּוּ הֵן: צְדָקָה, צְעָקָה, שִׁינּוּי הַשֵּׁם, וְשִׁינּוּי מַעֲשֶׂה
ראש השנה ט״ז ב:ו

And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: A person’s sentence is torn up on account of four types of actions. These are: Giving charity, crying out in prayer, a change of one’s name, and a change of one’s deeds for the better. An allusion may be found in Scripture for all of them: Giving charity, as it is written: “And charity delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2)

-Rosh Hashanah 16b:6

וְאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּים אָדָם שׁוֹקֵל שִׁקְלוֹ וּמִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ עַכְשָׁיו שֶׁאֵין בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּים אִם עוֹשִׂין צְדָקָה מוּטָב
בבא בתרא ט׳ א
And Rabbi Elazar says: When the Temple is standing, a person contributes his shekel for the Temple service and achieves atonement for his sins. Now that the Temple no longer stands, if people act charitably, it will be well for them.
-Bava Batra 9a

Daily Goals

5 Powerful Lessons About Giving

1.  The Most Meaningful Gifts Are Not Physical

The most meaningful gifts we can give don’t cost a cent. The list is endless: Time is a luxury these days – giving your children or loved one undivided attention. A phone call to a friend in a challenging situation. A hug to someone who looks like they need it. An email to an old friend to say you are thinking of them. A visit to an elderly relative. Making dinner for your family. Doing the carpool even though it’s not your turn. A listening ear to someone who needs to let off steam. A hug to someone who looks like they need it. A sincere word of thanks to a hard-working colleague.

2. No matter how limited you are, you always have something to give

Scarcity or abundance is an outlook, not a reality. When we feel we don’t have enough, we focus on what we are lacking and feel stingy and afraid. When we realize how blessed we are and how much we have to offer the world, we begin feeling grateful and valuable.

3. How We Choose To View Ourselves Influences Our Lives

Seeing ourselves as lacking generates self-preservation mode. We hold onto whatever we can – time, energy, money, emotional investment. We don’t trust that there is enough and live in fear of being depleted. But choosing to see ourselves as conduits of God’s infinite kindness, we can realize that there is abundance of resources and we don’t have to be stingy. This leads to generosity and an ability to give without fear of lacking. And in turn, we become more connected with the people around us.

4. Be A Gracious Receiver

It’s easy to feel bad when people are kind to us. We don’t feel worthy of receiving love. But when people do things for us or give us gifts, they want us to be happy. So be gracious. Put aside your inadequacy and believe that you are worthy of receiving love. Receiving graciously is a big gift in itself that brings joy to the giver.

5. Giving To Yourself Is Crucial

Conscious giving means being discerning as to when you need to give to yourself. Your body is the vehicle God gives you to express your soul’s potential, so be kind to it. Ensuring you have a good night’s sleep, a healthy meal and making time to exercise is just as important as giving to other people. Emotionally, one also needs to nurture oneself. Giving yourself acknowledgement, encouragement and forgiveness is the starting point for giving to others. Your soul also needs to be nurtured; it needs learning, relationships and inspiration to keep moving forward. These things are not selfish but are what enable ones to give outwardly in the future.

Today In Jewish History

9 Elul – Nachmanides – 1267 BCE

On this day in 1267 Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman, also known as Nachmonadies or the Ramban, arrived in Jerusalem. He was forced to flee his native Spain in the aftermath of the great debate of Barcelona where he was challenged by and beat the apostate jew Pablo Cristiani. He first fled from Spain to Castille in France but eventually made his way to Israel.

When the Ramban arrived in Jerusalem, the city had just been through two centuries of crusader wars. Most Jews had fled to other parts of the country. The Ramban wrote that he only found 2 Jewish men in the holy city when he arrived. He subsequently traveled the country paying people to relocate to the historical capital of the Jews. He built a synagogue that was active until the War of Independence in 1948 when it was destroyed by the Arabs along with every synagogue in the old city. In stark contrast, when the Jews took control of the city in 1967, they left every single mosque intact. The Ramban’s synagogue was then restored, and functions until this day.

Many look at this day of the beginning of the resettlement of Jews in Jerusalem. They were kicked out by the Crusaders in 1095. In 1187, Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt, allowed the Jews to return upon his victory over the Crusaders, but it wasn’t until the initiative of the Ramban that the city’s Jewish life became reignited.

Daily Quotes

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. "

- Maya Angelou

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

- Winston Churchill

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”

- Anne Frank

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