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Mishlei 22-09


Key Concepts

As discussed in segment 11-24, a person who is concerned about the welfare of others focuses his attention upon those around him and is sensitive to their needs and wishes. His mind is occupied by thinking what can be done to help them. Whenever he is able to do so, he takes action to bring about positive change for other people and society.

The generous person is doing the will of Hashem by calling for Hashem’s blessing upon those who are needy. He will be rewarded, in turn, with Hashem’s blessing.

Exploring Mishlei

ט = טוֹב עַיִן הוּא יְבֹרָךְ כִּי נָתַן מִלַּחְמוֹ לַדָּל

(9) One with a generous eye will be blessed,
for he gave of his bread to the poor.

The generous person is described by Mishlei as a good eye, that is, a generous eye. Wherever he looks, he sees an opportunity to do something good, because all around him there are people who need the blessing of Hashem, and it is the role of the good eye to invoke that blessing.

The character of the good eye is identified by his willingness to give of himself and his possessions to those who are dependent upon him. The effect of this spirit of generosity is recognized by the fact that he has given of his own bread to the poor.

Learning Mishlei

(9) The one with a generous eye, טוֹב עַיִן
he will be blessed, הוּא יְבֹרָךְ
for he has been given of his bread,כִּי נָתַן מִלַּחְמוֹ
to the poor.לַדָּל

Additional Insights

[1] This generous person has given to the poor, bread of the same quality that he himself eats, that is, מִלַּחְמוֹ , of his bread. (מדרש שמואל אבות פ’ ה)

[2]  Another sign of this person’s generosity is when he himself is poor and gives away a portion of the charity that he himself receives and depends upon for sustenance. (רבינו יונה).

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Mishlei 22-09 (Generosity) PDF version