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"…for it was to be a provider that Hashem sent me ahead of you" (Bereishis 45:5).

If we would only understand and believe how much we ourselves gain by giving charity, we would search for poor people to support.

Rabbi Zilberstein shlita, in his book Borechi Nafshi, relates the following story which he personally heard from both parties involved.

In Yerushalayim, there is a prominent gabbai tzaedakah (charity collector) who does his job sacrificially, and with the best of intentions. One day, he was on the way to the house of a very rich man to ask him for a generous contribution to help marry off a girl who was an orphan from both sides. But as he approached the door, he heard loud crying and wailing coming from inside. He was about to turn away, when the door opened and the rich man came out with tears in his eyes and asked the gabbai what he wanted.

"If I came in an inopportune time," he said, "I'll return later or tomorrow."

"Now is really not a good time," the owner responded. "My son is very sick, and the doctor who is with him right now just informed us that he has no natural chance to live!"

The devoted messenger thought for a moment and replied from the depths of his heart. "If this is your situation, then I think the best thing I can do to help you is not to leave you. Rather, I suggest that you give a very big amount of tzedakah for this very worthy cause; to marry off an orphan girl.

The rich man was moved by the candid words of the gabbai; whom he knew was not out to take advantage of him, but honestly meant what he proposed. He asked the gabbai how much was needed for the entire wedding. The fundraiser replied that they were missing many thousands of dollars. The man went straight to his safe and removed the entire amount in cash and handed it to the messenger from Heaven; asking him for his blessing, which he gave sincerely.

A few days later, the son got off of the bed, healthy and fine; to the total amazement of all of the doctors!

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel