Translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum



Charity is the remedy for all wounds.

Likutey Moharan II, 4

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The benefits of giving charity

Charity saves from sin.

Likutey Moharan I, 116

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Giving the charity tithe saves a person from his enemies. God shields him with His hand and saves him.

Likutey Moharan I, 221

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To draw God's providence upon ourselves completely, it is necessary to break the appetite for wealth. This is achieved through giving charity. When a person gives money to charity, it cools his urge to acquire. He conducts his business affairs truthfully and honestly and is satisfied with his portion in life, having pleasure and contentment from what God has blessed him with. Since he is not desperate to become rich, he is free from the constant struggle to make extra profit. The burden of this struggle is the fulfillment of the curse: "By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread" (Genesis 3:19 ) . When a person gives charity he is freed from this, and it is accounted to him as if he has brought an offering of incense to God.

Likutey Moharan I, 13

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Paying for faith

As long as a person is reluctant to spend money on the mitzvot he performs, his mitzvot are deficient because they have not yet entered the category of true faith, which gives them their perfection. But when a mitzvah is so precious in a person's eyes that he does not mind parting with his money and is willing to spend liberally for the sake of the mitzvah, this is called faith. For a person's faith is evident in the way he relates to money. When a person breaks his appetite for wealth, he becomes attached to the inner face of holiness.

Likutey Moharan I, 23

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For the sake of charity

With every step a person takes and every single word he speaks as he goes about his business, he should bear in mind that his goal is to make a profit in order to give charity. This is the comprehensive remedy for wealth. Giving charity expands and elevates the mind, which brings blessing and livelihood.

Likutey Moharan I, 29

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Charity for the land of Israel

Charity given for the needy in Israel is greater than charity for causes outside the land. When you give charity for the land of Israel you are included in the air of the land of Israel , which is holy breath without the taint of sin.

Likutey Moharan I, 37

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Torah scholars

When you give charity to Torah scholars, the money becomes actual Torah. No sin can extinguish the merit of giving money to Torah scholars. For no sin can extinguish the Torah, and the money given to Torah scholars is actual Torah.

Liktutey Moharan I, 204

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One who shows love to others
is himself shown love

When a person is in special need of God's love, God sends him an opportunity to show love to someone else. This is what makes it possible for God's love to be channeled to the person himself, because "Everyone who shows love for God's creatures is himself shown love" ( Shabbat 151b) . Thus it is written: "And He will give you love [i.e. He will give you the opportunity to show love to someone else] and [then] He will show you compassion" (Deuteronomy 13:18 ) .

A person's ability to show love depends on his level of Godly awareness. One who has Godly awareness will have compassion. For anger, the opposite of compassion, is rooted in foolishness: "Anger rests in the bosom of fools" ( Ecclesiastes 7:9) . Accordingly our Rabbis said, "It is forbidden to show compassion to anyone who lacks understanding" ( Berachot 33a) . This is because a person who lacks understanding is necessarily lacking in compassion (since "anger rests in the bosom of fools"). This is why it is forbidden to have compassion on him, because "Everyone who shows love for God's creatures is himself shown love", but if a person lacks compassion, it is impossible to have compassion on him.

Thus one who is in need of God's compassion must show compassion for others, and this depends on deepening his Godly understanding.

Likutey Moharan I, 119

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Opening the gate

When we give charity, our main task is to break our innate cruelty, turning it into kindness in order to give generously. This is the main service involved in the act of charity. When one who is kind by nature gives charity purely out of instinct, this cannot be called an act of service because even certain animals are kind by nature. The main task is to break one's innate cruelty and turn it into kindness in order to give charity.

Starting to give charity is very difficult and onerous. For all acts of true repentance and service of God require many cries and groans and strenuous contortions before one can succeed. The hardest part is starting, because "all beginnings are difficult" ( Mechilta , Yitro ) . Many cries and groans are needed before one can begin. Even after beginning, devotion never comes easily. It takes many strenuous efforts before one can achieve something of true worth. But starting is the hardest part of all.

For the main offspring of the Tzaddikim are their good deeds, and thus all mitzvot, good deeds and acts of devotion are like giving birth. How many shrieks and cries a woman emits when giving birth! How many pangs she endures before the baby is born, especially when it is her firstborn, which is particularly hard.

And charity is always a beginning, as it is written, "Open! Open up your hand!" (Deuteronomy 15:8) . Even when there is already an entrance and a beginning, giving charity opens and widens the entrance even further. Whenever a person wants to enter any pathway of devotion and service of God, it is necessary to make an opening in order to enter that pathway. "All beginnings are difficult" because it is first necessary to break through and open up the entrance all over again, which is very difficult. However, charity has the unique power of being able to open and widen the entrance further.

When you make an opening in some pathway of service and with it give some charity, this charity opens and widens the entrance even further. For charity is the beginning of all beginnings and opens and widens all the gates.

Likutey Moharan II, 4

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By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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