Parshat Re’ eh includes the precepts of tithing and giving charity to those in need. The passuk (verse) tells us that the result of helping those less fortunate is that we will be blessed (15:10). The Lekach Tov asks: Would it not make more sense to reserve the blessings for those less fortunate so that they don’t need the help of others?
The Lekach Tov answers that the blessing that the giver receives is that very ability to help others, a benefit that would not be available if there was no one to give to. There is a symbiotic relationship between a giver and a receiver, where they cannot exist without the other. Rabbi Yochanan Zweig asserts that perhaps that is why the Hebrew word for giving “natan” is a palindrome – the giving goes in both directions, where everyone involved benefits.
This week’s Parsha is an excellent opportunity to recommit to giving and helping others. There are so many around us that need help that it can often be overwhelming to decide where to give. An excellent solution is Daily Giving (www.dailygiving.org), an organization that collects $1 a day from each donor, aggregates everyone’s money and donates it to 42 different worthy non-profits. Daily Giving keeps nothing, and donors learn about so many deserving causes while making a meaningful difference with their donations. Whether it’s to help others or to ground ourselves, giving improves those we support, ourselves, and the world.