The Gemara is not the only one who says so. It’s really a possuk. The possuk says ובחנוני נא בזאת – “Test Me,” Hashem says, “with this; if by giving ma’aser, אם לא אפתח לכם את ארובות השמים – if I won’t open for you the doors of heaven and shower down on you blessings (Malachi 3:10). So the possuk tells you that we have a right to expect from Hashem that in return for you giving ma’aser, He’ll bless you with prosperity. Now, it’s talking there about ma’aser of your produce, of your crops; only that it’s applied also, by the same logic, to the giving ma’aser from money.
The idea is Hakadosh Baruch Hu blesses a man in those things which he uses for the service of Hashem. I’ll give you an example. When we in the times of the Beis Hamikdash poured water on the mizbeach – that was one of the things we offered up, water – so the Gemara says in the name of Hashem, נסכו לפני מים בחג – “Pour water for Me, כדי שיתברכו לכם גשמי שנה – so that the rains of the year should be blessed” (Rosh Hashanah 16a).
So we see the principle is that if you’ll use part of the rain in the service of Hashem – how much do you pour after all? Only a small amount of water – in return Hashem says, “I’m going to pour down rains of blessing.”
“And you should bring the omer,” Hashem says, – the Korban Omer is an offering of grain for the mizbeach, כדי שתתברכו לכם התבואה שבשדה – “so that the crops of the field will be blessed” (ibid.)
So we see the principle is that if you utilize part of Hashem’s blessings for His service, then that thing, that item, is going to be especially blessed. So if you give part of your money to Hakadosh Baruch Hu in the form of tzedakah, it’s a principle that Hakadosh Baruch Hu blesses. And people who practice this should trust in Hashem.
Now if it ever happens that somebody doesn’t see that brachah you must know he’s getting the brachah anyhow. In most cases you’ll see that he does get a brachah; if you live long and you observe people who give tzedakah, you’ll see that it pays for them. They’re repaid with tzedakah. רודף צדקה וחסד ימצא חיים צדקה וכבוד (Mishlei 21:21). However, if it happens sometimes that it seems not that way, so you should understand that this person was supposed to lose a lot of money for some previous sin and now he is saved from losing that money. So actually he got what he was supposed to get back because he should have lost a lot of money for something else and he didn’t lose it. Whatever it is, the account always holds good; the principle holds true.
TAPE # 471 (September 1983)
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