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If I give money to a charity that finances medical research, I think I'm doing a mitzvah, but of what sort? Is this tzedakah when I'm not clothing or feeding the poor? Is it saving a life when there is a chance that my dollar might be spent on research that goes nowhere?

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Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/350/… –  Isaac Moses Nov 5 '13 at 19:54
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Since when must one only try and save someone's life if the method is 100% certain to work? –  Double AA Nov 5 '13 at 20:14
    
@IsaacMoses, duplicate? –  msh210 Nov 6 '13 at 4:11

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