Slice of Bread

Shalom Aleichem!

Our 11-year-old son went on a culinary adventure, and Tzipah wrote about it here.
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I would like to share with you an excerpt from a talk the Rebbe gave a few days before Rosh Hashana 1950. My free translation follows; I hope it will elevate your day, as it did mine.
A person may think that he is rich, and when he gives tzedakah (charity) — regardless of whether it is a small or large sum — he is giving from his own personal wealth…. Yet in truth, when he gives tzedakah, he is not giving his own money, rather, he is merely passing on money that was temporarily deposited with him.The early chassidim were wont to say: The piece of bread that I have is yours, just as it is mine – דער שטיקעל ברויט וואס איך האב, איז ער דיינער ווי מיינער.It is noteworthy that they would say the word “yours” before “mine,” i.e., “yours, just as it is mine.”

As our sages taught us in the Midrash, “Even more than what the host does for the poor man, the poor man does for the host.”

Just as a human is comprised of body and soul, so too, tzedakah exists materially as well as spiritually. Jewish law states that every person, even a poor man, is obligated to give tzedakah.

Every one of us has something to give. Since everything that happens is guided by Divine Providence, the very fact that I come into contact with another person, is an indication that I must help him or her. The Almighty did not create anything without purpose — including the meeting of two people.

Shabbat Shalom, and may we all be blessed with a sweet new year,