Be Generous
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Be Generous
VALUES
 
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The idea of nedivut, or being generous, is found throughout our entire tradition, especially in regards to the bringing of gifts.  This notion of generosity through gifts is first found in Exodus 25, when G-d asks Moses to tell the Israelite people to bring gifts from all whose hearts move them.  In other words, the people were to bring voluntary gifts and only give what they could.  From these gifts, the people built a mishkan--a dwelling place--for G-d.  What we learn from this story in the Torah is that when we all act with generosity and offer ourselves what we are able, G-d will be among us.  Furthermore, nevidut should not be understood as an obligation within our tradition, but a virtue motivated out of our desire to be virtuous.


It is important to note that tzedakah--righteousness and charity and g’milut chasidim--to act with love and kindness are values that frequently are misunderstood as the value of nedivut.  Both tzedakah and g’milut chasidim refer to more of a deed and action, while nedivut refers to more of an attitude.  We learn from Pirke Avot 5:15 that “those who want to give and want others to give, they are saintly people.”  With the right mindset and with our hearts in the right places, we can show our generosity and inspire others to do so as well.


Questions for Reflection

1. Do you think that becoming a generous person is something you have to train yourself to do?

2. What type of mindset do you need to have to be generous?

3. What can you do to model this value personally and within the classroom?


Think about other people’s wants and needs, and if you can help them, do!

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