Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

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R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

The Secret To Wealth

There is a principle that according to the amount of money we give is how much we earn.[1] If we earn 10,000\$ and give 1,000\$ to Maaser, the next year Hashem may give us 15,000\$. If we then give 1,700\$ to Tzedaka, we may now receive 17,000\$. However, if we cut back and now give 1,700\$ (proportionately less), then Hashem may do the same to us.[2] This is in accordance with מדה כנגד מדה; measure for measure.[3] It could turn out the amount of Maaser one originally gave (1,000\$) is now his salary. This is one explanation in ואיש את קדשיו לו יהיו-[4] the amount of money that he gave to Maaser (קדשיו) may now be his salary (לו יהיה).

The Pasuk states עשר תעשר; [5]you shall tithe. עשר תעשר literally translates into Tithe (עשר) the letters of תעשר. What do we get when we do this? The numerical value of ת is 400. 1/10 of that is 40 which is equivalent to the letter מ. Next is ע which is 70. 1/10 of 70 is 7, which is the numerical value of ז. Following that is ש which is 300. 1/10 of 300 is 30, the Gematria of ל. Lastly, ר is 200. 1/10 is 20, the same as כ. So, our result is the word מזלך; Your Mazel.[6] This hints to that the amount of money you give is how much you will receive in return.[7]

Looking at the word נתן; to give, we notice it is a palindrome (whether it is spelled forwards or backwards, it spells נתן). This alludes to that what you give to Tzedaka you receive in return.[8] Another hint to this is found in the word ממון; money, as the hidden letters are the same as the revealed letters. That is to say, מ spelled out is ממ. ו is וו and נ is נן.[9]

A שׁ (Shin) has a dot on the right whereas a שׂ (the letter Sin) has a dot on the left. With this we can grasp אם השמאל ואימנה ואם הימין ואשמאילה:[10] if you go left (the letter sin)- עַשֵׂר- and tithe, then Hashem says I will go right- עושֶׁר (wealth). On the other hand, if you go right- עושֶׁר- and don’t give proper Maaser, then Hashem says I will go left- עַשֵׂר- your livelihood may be the amount of Maaser you once gave.[11]

[1] See Sefer Hachinuch 480. In this fashion, we can explain יש מפזר ונוסף עוד (Mishlei 11:24)- there is one who gives money and gets more. Money spent on doing Hashem’s will brings additional wealth.

[2] See Taanis 9a, Tosafos. Hashem may try us with a little to see what we would do with a lot.

[3] The Baal Shem Tov would remark on ה’ צלך; Hashem is your shadow (Tehillim 121:5), that just as a shadow does what the person is doing, so too Hashem acts in accordance to the way we act. This is just as Chazal (Shabbos 151b) say that one who is compassionate to Hashem’s creatures is shown compassion by heaven (Kedushas Levi, Beshalach, s.v. והנה ידוע).

[4] Bamidbar 5:10. See Rashi there. Parenthetically, the Maharal (Nesivos Olam, Nesiv Hatzedaka) says the two levels of צדקה – giving a 1/10 and 1/5- are alluded to in the word צדקה. 1/10 of ק (100) is 90, the numerical value of צ. 1/5 of ה (5) is 4, the Gematria of ד.

 ק ה צ ד

[5] Devarim 14:22

[6]

 Numerical value ר=200 ש=300 ע=70 ת=400 After 1/10 is taken 20=ך 30=ל 7=ז 40=מ Result ך ל ז מ

[7] For this reason, the word צדקה in the system ofא”ת ב”ש  (Shabbos 104a. In this system, the letterא  is exchanged for a ת, ב for a ש and so on.) results in the same letters (צדקה)- See the Chida in Midbar Kedaimos.

[8] See Baal Haturim to Shemos 30:12. Also, Shemos Rabba 36:3.

[9] The Tiferes Shlomo (Succos, s.v. כי אם) explains איש כמתנת ידו כברכת ה’ אלה-יך אשר נתן לך (Devarim 16:17) that when one gives Tzedaka (כמתנת ידו), he should have the same Simcha just as when he received the Bracha (כברכת ה’ אלה-יך אשר נתן לך).

[10] Breishis 13:9. The simple meaning is that Avraham said to Lot if you go left, then I will  go right and if you go right, then I will go left.

[11] In this way, the Sifsei Tzadikim explains בשמאולה עשר; at its left, wealth (Mishlei 3:16): if you put the dot on the left meaning you give Maaser, then עושר; wealth comes.