71. Testing HASHEM

There is only one area in life in which a person is allowed to test Hashem, and that is giving maaser (tithe to charity). Aser kedei l’his’asher, give maaser so that you’ll become wealthy. Chazal (our sages) guarantee if you give money to maaser it will not cost you, quite the opposite; you’ll end up getting more out of it. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be Rockefeller, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be the wealthiest man in your neighborhood, it means that if you give maaser, it will not cost you, quite the opposite, you’ll end up getting more.

And one of the great secrets to success as a Jew is to create a maaser account. What that means is I have a separate account and the minute that check comes in 10 percent of it goes directly into the maaser account and what’s left is mine to use. By setting that up and immediately as soon as it comes in allocating it over, what you’ll find is somehow the same amount that gets spent on this and that, gets spent, even though it’s only 90 percent.

Try it. Set up an account, and each time the check comes in, separate it. The reason why many people have trouble giving maaser is because they wait too long. If you wait until the end of the month or the end of the year, who can possibly write a check for 10 percent of my year’s earnings? I don’t have anywhere near that capital. But if right away as soon as the weekly or monthly check comes in, you separate 10 percent and put it into a maaser account and you deal with that as a separate tzedakah (charity) account, what you’ll find is in six months, in a year, you’re still somehow spending the same amount. You still somehow have as much, but in addition to that you have a tremendous amount of money in your maaser account that you’re able to do with the right and proper things.