What is more important, praying for your friend or doing something tangible for him?
What is more important, praying for your friend or helping him in something?
Both are important. Certainly if you can do both things, you should do both. If it’s a person who for whatever reason is not able to be helped by you, so pray for him. But if you’re able to do something for him, do something for him.
It says like this: הנותן פרוטה לעני – When you give a penny to a poor man, מתברך בשש ברכות – you get six brachos; והמפייסו – but if you console and honor the poor man, you get eleven brachos. Now, if you do both things; if you give him let’s say a donation and you say, “I see you’re an important personality. I’d like to give you a thousand dollars, I just don’t have it,” so you make him feel good. “I wish I could give you a thousand dollars; you deserve it.” You’re making him feel good so now you have seventeen brachos. Eleven plus six is seventeen.
Now suppose you have money in your pocket and you want to be yotzei with brachos alone, just to make him feel good; it’s not a bad thing but still it will be held against you. What about that money in your pocket?
So the best thing is to give him the money and to give him also the consolation, the kind words.
TAPE # E-1 (February 1999)