Kimcha D’Pischa

Kimcha D’Pischa (Wheat of Passover) is the custom before the Passover holiday of distributing monies to purchase wheat for the poor people. Today we fulfill this Mitzvah with giving charity to a fund that specifically helps the needy purchase food items for Passover. 

The Talmud in tractate Rosh Hashanah (16a) teaches that four times throughout the year G-D judges the world; the most famous time being between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On Pesach, God decides how much wheat the world will have in the following year, and so we cultivate and distribute as much as possible to the less fortunate in order to show God that we are worthy of greater amounts of wheat in subsequent years.

To understand the concept of sharing ones hard earned money with others that are less fortunate, Maimonides said if one has a large sum of money to share; rather than giving it all with a single large donation it is much more preferable to break it into smaller sums of money and give it slowly. The reason behind this: Sharing what we have trains us to be more giving, and each time we give money we are making a long lasting change within ourselves. Every time we lift weights at the gym we are learning more grit to get stronger. The same applies when we give Tzedakah/charity: We are forming our natural character trait to be more giving. 

Let us not forget also that the holiday of Passover commemorates our birth as God’s chosen nation and therefore, consistent with the teachings of Nachmanides, we understand that God’s display of miracles and power during that time is enough for the Jewish people to honor our covenant with Him for hundreds of generations. We really have no choice but to trust his word and his unique place in the world. Thus, taught Nachmanides, we accept that this holiday is the cornerstone of Jewish belief in God. When we give to the less fortunate, we are honoring that first acceptance of God’s power in the world, and his influence in our lives.

-Rabbi Tzvi Alyesh

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