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Charity - Giving Justice - Treating your neighbor like you would like to be treated.

Maimonides [Rambam] wrote, "Even a poor person who lives entirely on tzedakah must also give tzedakah to another." (Mishnah Torah Chapter 7)
The Rambam identified EIGHT Levels of Charity, or doing justice. They are:

1. A person gives but is not happy when s/he digs into the pocket in order to give.

2. A person gives cheerfully, but gives less than s/he should.

3. A person gives, but only when asked by a poor person.

4. A person gives without having to be asked, but gives directly to the poor. The poor person knows he gave the help, and the giver knows who was benefited

5. A person gives a donation in a certain place, but walks away so that the giver does not know who received the benefit. The poor person knows the giver however.

6. A person makes a donation to a poor person secretly. The giver knows who was benefited, but the poor person does not know who the giver was.

7. A person contributes anonymously to the tzedakah fund which is then distributed to the poor.

8. The highest level of charity is to give money and help to prevent another person from becoming poor. For example, teaching a person a trade, finding them a job, lending money, teaching them to fish.


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June 4, 2004 -