Charity isn't just a moral duty but a key to unlocking spiritual dimensions. * Transform your understanding of tzedakah into a tool for achieving a more Divine world. * On the Tanya lesson for 24 Elul.
Why does Judaism place such a unique emphasis on tzedakah, or charity? While most people see charity as a virtuous deed to alleviate suffering or poverty, Judaism takes it a step further—seeing it as a vehicle for spiritual transformation that even influences the Divine realm.
Here the Tanya delves into the multi-faceted spiritual dimensions of tzedakah. It unequivocally states that "Through charity, one brings close [the time of] the Resurrection," marking it as more than just a humanitarian act—it is a gateway to the World to Come.
What might surprise you is the Rabbi's idea that the act of giving tzedakah doesn't just benefit the receiver. Instead, it fosters a reciprocal flow of divine compassion and nourishment. It implies a remarkable concept: Charity is not merely a one-way stream of goodwill but a cyclical exchange of spiritual energy.
If the act of giving tzedakah sets off this spiritually reciprocal relationship, then could we be missing out on a dormant, yet extraordinary, power within every seemingly minor act of charity?
The Tanya connects tzedakah with "Zivug," the concept of Divine union. This isn't unique to the Tanya; the Zohar also claims that charity has the potential to usher in Divine light (Zohar, Vayikra, 98a). When we contribute to charity, it's not a simple transaction—we are essentially initiating a Divine union. This union radiates spiritual illumination in both upward and downward directions, affecting all the worlds in the spiritual hierarchy.
Moreover, the Tanya cites the Talmud to convey the messianic essence of tzedakah: "Great is charity, for it brings the Redemption closer" (Bava Batra 10a). Tzedakah isn't just a good deed; it's a force with cosmic implications, one that speeds up the advent of the Moshiach and the subsequent transformation of our earthly reality.
Every penny you give is not just fulfilling a commandment but is an active participation in hastening the coming of a Divinely perfect world. Imagine then how impactful our collective acts of charity could be!
In a world where we often feel dwarfed by monumental challenges, This teaching in Tanya reminds us that even the smallest act of tzedakah carries within it the power to change the world, both in a tangible and spiritual sense. So the next time you engage in this sublime act, know that you are not only providing immediate relief but also contributing to a more Divine future.