web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

Giving Tzedakah At Night
(Shekalim 22a)

The Minchas Elazar of Munkatch (Divrei Torah 1:117) writes that there are some miserly people who look for every excuse to exempt themselves from giving tzedakah. For example, when a poor person approaches them for tzedakah at night, they claim to follow the Arizal’s practice of not giving tzedakah at night. However, the Minchas Elazar writes that this is no excuse. This is not what the Arizal intended at all.

What did he intend?

Night Is a Time of Harsh Judgment

The Chida (Birchei Yosef, O.C. 235) writes, “Night is a time of strict judgment. Therefore, according to the students of the Arizal, it is not a time for giving tzedakah.” The Chida is commenting on the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 92:10, Y.D. 249:14), which rules that it is proper to give tzedakah before each prayer, as the pasuk states, “With tzedek, I will behold Your presence” (Tehillim 17:15).

The Arizal followed this ruling by giving tzedakah before Shachris and Mincha, but he did not give before Maariv. The Chida cites a source for the Arizal’s custom from our own Gemara. The Gemara tells us that R’ Chinena bar Papa was once walking outside at night to distribute tzedakah to the poor. As he walked, the prince of destructive spirits met him and demanded to know why R’ Chinena was infringing on his domain. R’ Chinena answered by quoting the pasuk, “A gift in secret overturns anger” (Mishlei 21:14).

The simple explanation of this story is that the prince of spirits asked why R’ Chinena walked about at night when destructive spirits roam. R’ Chinena answered that he relied on the merit of tzedakah to protect him. However, the Chida offers another explanation. He suggests that the prince of spirits said that tzedakah does not have the same ability to arouse Heavenly mercy at night as it does during the day, since night is a time of strict Heavenly judgment (see Divrei Torah, ibid; Maharsham 2:43). R’ Chinena answered that tzedakah is nevertheless effective at all times.

According to this explanation, from the very source of the Arizal’s practice we see that there is no restriction against giving tzedakah at night. All the Gemara means to say is that giving tzedakah during the day is more beneficial since it awakens a greater degree of Heavenly mercy. All we should derive from the Arizal’s practice is that one doesn’t have to give tzedakah before Maariv, but one may certainly do so if one pleases.

Others believe the Arizal warned against giving tzedakah at night if one can possibly give it during the day (see Divrei Torah and Maharsham, ibid.). They explain that according to Kabbalah, giving tzedakah at night arouses the anger of destructive spirits.

Do Not Turn Away a Poor Person

However, all opinions agree that one should not turn away a poor person who comes to collect tzedakah at night. If a person does so, he neglects the positive commandment of “You must open your hand to him” (Devarim 15:8) and transgresses the prohibition of “Do not harden you heart; do not clench your hand” (Devarim 15:7).

The Arizal favored giving money during the day only when there is no question of turning a poor person away empty-handed. The Aparkasta D’Aniya (3:Y.D.:181) writes, “At no time, and under no circumstances, should one ever refrain from giving tzedakah.”

All the Arizal meant, he writes, is that one should not meditate on kabbalistic intentions before giving tzedakah at night as he would during the day. He adds, “This practice has no relevance to the majority of people who in any event do not know the kabbalistic intentions when giving tzedakah. They should give tzedakah at all times, with wholesome simplicity. Hashem, Who cherishes tzedakah, will position every mitzvah in its appropriate time and place.”

The Divrei Chaim’s Custom

The Tzanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, zt”l, cites the custom of his great-grandfather, the Divrei Chaim of Tzanz. At night, he would give his attendant tzedakah money to distribute, and the attendant would distribute it the following day (Divrei Yatziv O.C. 293; see Divrei Torah, ibid., who cites other details of the Divrei Chaim’s practice of giving tzedakah at night).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UN Human Rights Council
UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

Daf-Yomi-logo

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Not As An Asmachta?
“An Asmachta [In Beis Din] Does Acquire”
(Nedarim 27b)

Ulla’s Murderous Companion
‘Yes! Cut Him Even Deeper’
(Nedarim 22a)

An Enduring Text
‘If One Vows By The Torah…’
(Nedarim 14b)

Casting A Doubt
‘Shall We Say [They] Are Not Valid?’
(Nedarim 5a-7a)

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Twice Promised
“Such And Such [I Give My Son]…”
(Kesubos 102b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-102/2013/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: