Monday, November 15, 2010

How to give tsdakah

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I've long been wondering how to use this funny photo.


The meditation that appeared today on a favorite Orthodox Christian website may have the sought connection.
Here it is, from Word from the Desert, Meditations on the Orthodox Life from the Early Church Fathers, Ascetics, Saints and Righteous:

An old man said, “There are monks who do many goods works, and the evil one sends them scruples about quite little things, to cause them to lose the fruit of the good they have done.
When I happened to be living in Oxyrhynchus near a priest who gave alms to many, a widow came to ask him for some wheat.
He said to her, ‘Bring a sack and I will measure some out for you.’
She brought it, and measuring the sack with his hand, he said, ‘It is a big sack.’
Now this filled the widow with shame.
I said to him, ‘Abba, have you sold the wheat?’
He said, ‘No, I gave it to her in charity.’
I said to him, ‘If you gave it all to her in alms, why did you complain at the amount and fill her with shame?’”
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11 comments:

VP said...

I have seen these oversize sacks around, but I think the priest didn't have enough wheat for this...

Rob and Mandy said...

Reminds me of that old story with the gold and the chessboard

Francisca said...

What a perfect shot for this parable! And VP must be right. In any event, I'd hate to have a sackful like that full of shame! :-D

Turquoise Diaries said...

A common word.. In our language it is sadaka..Interesting photo..

Leif Hagen said...

Dina - you look small next to those huge bags! You had better get some strong armed help!

richies said...

That is a funny photo. I liked the story. Unfortunately I have see to many times when those who are giving make the recipients feel ashamed.

An Arkies Musings

Dr M said...

I love it!
I was reminded of the passage, "One who gives grudgingly loses his merit even if the gift is very large..." (Mishneh Torah 9:4, Aruch HaShulchan 249.13)

By the smile on your face, you don't appear to run this risk!

JM said...

Now those are BIG bags! Funny shot, Dina.

Jew Wishes said...

Great post, photos and prose.

The bags are huge!

Pietro said...

I like this funny photo, Dina!

Kay said...

Oh yes! That's a wonderful lesson and it goes well with the photo. I always LOVE seeing you in your photos!