Kenneth Cohen


An important aspect of Judaism, is generosity. This is a character trait of the Jew, that he does acts of kindness.

The Rabbis tell us that we are not allowed to test G-d, with one exception. If we do our duty, and give ten per cent of our income to charity, we can challenge Him, to give back what we gave. This is almost a guarantee that one will never become poor from giving charity. It might even be a path where wealth will be achieved, because of our being charitable.

The Torah also commands us to forgive unpaid loans during the Sabbatical year. We are taught of the inevitability that there will be poor, and we shall surely open our hands to help them.

The Torah also notes how we are to part with our Hebrew slave, when he finishes his years of servitude. We must not send him away empty handed. We need to give him a gift, known as a מענק. This gift may come from the flocks, or your threshing floor, or your wine cellar.

We show our gratitude to Hashem, by using the abundant gifts that were bestowed upon us, to use to help others. Miserliness is a very ugly trait, and is uncharacteristic of how a Jew should behave. We are urged to be generous and show kindness to the less fortunate. If we do so, we will be blessed many times over.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at