Sunday, June 11, 2017

Giving or Taking

Why is it better to be a giver than a taker??

A few reasons. 

1] The best and primary answer is that .... G-D SAID!! Hashem wants us to be givers and not takers [if possible] and therefore we should live that way. 

2] When one gives, he or she gets to be like Hashem. Hashem is [כביכול] a giver and to be a giver is to become G-dly. That is "cool":-). 

3] Givers are happier than takers. Studies were conducted and it was determined time and again that people who givers are happier. Two groups were given money and one group was told to spend on themselves while another was told to give the money away. Afterward, their levels of happiness were measured and the group of givers were happier time again in wealthy as well as poor countries. 

4] The only thing you are left with after you die is what you GAVE AWAY. And we all die .... eventually. 

5] Whatever you give - you get back. The word נתן - give, is read that way in both directions. Whatever you give comes right back - often big-time with [Divine] interest. 

6] When one is a giver he will surely be successful while if he is a taker he is likely to be quite frustrated. 

Let us say that someone has two thousand dollars of maaser money that he wants to give to tzedaka. He has MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of options. He can give to countless individuals, organizations, hospitals, yeshivos etc. and they will always take it happily and graciously with effusive thanks. 

But let us say that the tables are turned. A person DESPERATELY needs two thousand dollars in order to pay that month's rent. He works hard but his salary doesn't cover expenses [see Eichah 3/1 ...אני הגבר]. To whom can he turn? There are plenty of Jews who have loads of money and they could easily give him the money but having and giving are two separate things. There are plenty of multi-multi millionaires who turn away tzedaka requests without even giving a nickel. They give to other causes - but they are very tight with their money. So he can ask this guy for money and is told - give me an envelope. But he never sees the envelope again [and the rich guy got a FREE ENVELOPE:-)]. Then he goes to another rich guy - 5 bucks. Then another - I can't "right now" [which always means "get lost"]. Then another - 10 bucks. Then he goes to a shul in Manhattan for shachris and walks around with a pushke - 61 dollars and 25 cents. 

He is still far from his goal. He asks his wealthy cousin - zero. What is he to do? He tries to get appointments with various real estate tycoons and CEO's but he can't even get them to make five minutes for him. He can find a gemach to loan him the money [after the hassle of finding guarantors and other things that securing a loan requires] but then he has to return it and the person doesn't make enough to cover expenses. So what is he to do?

This is the experience of many, many people who have been compelled to be takers [sometimes it is by choice]. 

To find a taker when you want to give - a cinch. To find a giver when you need to take? Not so easy - AT ALL.   

It is not only about money. When one needs a favor - it is not always so easy to find. When one wants to DO FAVORS then he will have NO TROUBLE AT ALL finding different options. He can volunteer at the hospital, tomchei shabbos, do work for the shul etc. etc. If you want to give away 5 of your free hours to help others you will have no problem. But if you need 5 hours from someone else [or often even five minutes] - busy-busy-busy. CRAZZZZZY BUSY! 

So to be a taker is an often frustrating experience while if one is a giver is so much easier to be a success due to the ubiquity of takers.  

We can't always choose. Sometimes, circumstances compel us to be takers. But if you can help it, for all of the reasons enumerated above - be a giver!!

Bi-ahava rabba,