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Meditations of Tzedaka

Parashat Teruma brings a great opportunity to talk about the topic of Tzedaka. The concept of the Merkava is that whatever we do in our lives from how do we act with ourselves to how do we treat others serves as Merkava to the Sefirot. By the use of the attributes of the Sefirot we activate the Sefira itself. For example; when a person gives charity, he hooks himself to the attribute of Chesed, therefore activating the Sefira of Chesed. 

A person might think that he could/should activate the right pilar from the Tree of Life (Structure of the Sefirot) all the time. But that is not what judaism preaches. Judaism is all about balance, a person should not give everything he has and also not to give anything to anyone (activating the left pilar of the spiritual structure). The great balance is within Yesod(middle pilar of the structure). When the giving is done with balance then the act is called Tzedaka.

In a deeper aspect, the person who is giving Tzedaka is represented by the Yesod and the poor person receiving the charity is represented by the Malchut. As in the structure Yesod provides the sustenance to the Malchut. The starting point of the Malchut is judgment since it is tilt to the left side. So when a person is about to give out Tzedaka, he should meditate on sweetening the judgment of the Malchut since the poor man represents Malchut. 

There are times when the person asking for help is bitter, he might think: “why do I have to endure this situation? why me and not him?”. This bitterness is just the expression of the judgments of the Malchut. Besides meditating about sweetening the judgement the giver should also sweeten the judgment at a physical level. When giving Tzedaka he should do it with a smile in his face, with kind words and giving a blessing to the poor man so that he can overcome his judgement.

Giving Tzedaka it’s not an easy task. The giver should always be careful on not to bring judgement to his life. If the giver does not give Tzedaka from his heart, in a positive way and with the right intention, he will only pull judgement to his life. It is of great importance that before a person gives Tzedaka, he should meditate and contemplate on: what the poor man represents, what he, himself, represents on the higher realms. Meditate on how the donation is going to be capable of such an achievement, of changing judgement into kindness. 

Malchut also represents the Shechina (Divine Presence). Part of the sustenance of the Jewish soul is obtained though the Shechina, so if the Shechina is bitter it will affect in a negative way the jewish soul. Tzedaka has the power to remove the bitterness and the sadness from ourselves and the whole world. 

In the Parashat, the donations were given to the Mishkan. The Mishkan is also a representation of the Shechina. Therefore, when a person is positively focused on building his “Mishkan”, he will be able to receive kindness and to become a channel of kindness for his surroundings.

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