Judaism teaches that we owe much of our success to G-d. The mitzvah of tzedakah is central to the framework of community. This mitzvah is best observed when approached in the spirit of joy and generosity. When Moses asked the people to build the Mishkan they responded with nedivut (generosity). (Exod. 35:4-29). We must ask ourselves if we are truly generous in our tzedakah.
Many of us don’t consider ourselves wealthy in comparison to our neighbors, but we have been truly blessed. Before April 15, compare your charitable donations with what you spend on entertainment, vacations, clothes or whatever else you do with your “disposable income.” This is something we ask ourselves each year as we continue our commitment to build a community for ourselves and for our neighbors.
“Wealth is a greater test of character than poverty” (Pele Yoetz).