Tzedakah and Sacrifices

Tzedakah and Sacrifices

There is a surprising statement from Chazal relating to the comparison between Tzedakah and Sacrifices.


Tzedakah Greater Than All the Sacrifices

The Tur brings from the Gemora in Sukkah that Gedola Tzedakah mikol HaKorbanos, Tzedakah is greater than all of the sacrifices. Actually in our Gemora it reads Gadol HaOseh Tzedakah etc., greater is the person who gives Tzedakah than etc.

I was thinking, maybe the meaning is as follows: When a person brings a Korban, he brings it to Hashem Yisborach. An Olah is burnt up entirely on the Mizbayach, and even a Chatas or Asham which are eaten by the Kohanim, this is also part of the same idea in that it says “The Kohanim eat, and the owners are granted an atonement”. And by a Shlamim for sure, even the one who brings the Korban gets to eat from it.

But when a person gives Tzedakah, he gives to the next person.

There is a well known idea that when a person brings the lung of a $10,000 cow to the Rav, and the Rav tells him it’s a treifa, for a second he closes his eyes and gets a bit dizzy, but immediately he resigns himself to the reality, and exclaims, “Ah, thank G-d, that I didn’t fail and eat treifos, or sell treifos, the loss is heavy, but, Boruch Hashem.”

Yet when the same man comes to the same Rav with a din Torah against his neighbor for $100 and the Rav tells him he has to give his neighbor $100, he curses the Rav and he curses his neighbor, and gets angry, and, well, let’s hope that it stops with that. It is much harder to give to the neighbor than to give up even much more to the Ribono Shel Olam.

So too, Gadol HaOseh Tzedakah mikol HaKorbanos, because when a person gives Tzedakah he has to bring out more from himself in that which he gives to his fellow man than when he brings a sacrifice.

About The Author

Boruch Rappaport