Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

וזאת התרומה אשר תקחו מאתם זהב וכסף ונחושת (כה:ג)

The Tosafists (Da’at Z’keinim) suggest that the first three items that are listed in the collection for the Mishkan represent 3 types of Tzedaka.


Gold corresponds to one who contributes whilst he is healthy, while silver connotes one who donates after falling ill.

Copper is compared to bequeathing Tzedaka after one’s passing.

Giving Tzedaka when one is ill, or confronted with another עת צרה, is certainly the proper mode of action.

Still, one who is self-motivated to contribute when things are going well is praiseworthy. This is reminiscent of the statement of Rav Yitzchak, son of Rav Yehuda (Shabbat 32a) “A person should always pray that he will not become ill because if he falls ill he will be told to bring a zechut to exempt himself.”

While the Gemara is certainly warning of the dangers of falling ill, there seems to be another point.

The prayer of an ill person is warranted and appropriate, but there is something special about one who davens sincerely to Hashem, when he’s not searching for a solution to one problem or another.

Shabbat Shalom


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Rav Korn is a senior Rabbi at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh