When someone gives a check to a Rabbi as a thank you for their help, is there any issue of “setting a price for a mitzvah.” I recently heard something, and may have misunderstood it, so I am seeking clarification.
If a person asks a question and the Rabbi answers the question about that particular situation, and the person wants to say thank you and send them a thank-you check, is this at all problematic? Thanks. Happy Purim.
Thank you for your question.
Sending the Rabbi a check as a thank you is not causing that now it is as if the Rabbi is now “charging you”, because you are giving it to him as a show of appreciation for what was done, without any obligation to do so. It is good for the Rabbi, and also for the person who is showing their appreciation. When a person shows appreciation, it cause the person to actually value what was and will be done for them. And it is very important for the congregation to feel that the Rabbi is providing an important function in their lives, and to value it.
As a side point, regarding Rabbis getting a salary, or any other monetary compensation. It is permitted for the Rabbi to get a salary etc. and it is not contrary to the idea of teaching torah for free. Although a person should not look at teaching torah as a money-making opportunity, nevertheless, those who ae devoting their lives to teaching torah etc. also need to provide for their families, and if they wouldn’t get a salary, they would have to leave their position. Therefore, it is permitted for them to get a salary, and to get presents for the congregation.
Have a happy Purim