I have mixed feelings about very common (in Israel) advertisements like this one:

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(the ad says: "32 orphans are getting married and YOU ARE GRANTED SALVATION"... each one who donates 320 NIS WILL, with G-d's help, be granted with true happiness in his home through Nachas, health and wealth")

I understand that Tzedakkah is a Mitzvah on its own, but it seems that there's a [dust of] "Mekach Taut", when a person gives the money on that condition and if unfulfilled, invalidates the donation למפרע turning it into a Gezel.

I was wondering, what Halachic sources those promises are based on, and if not, how far are they from being a fraud (Onaah) or a theft (Gezel)?

  • 1
    Can you demonstrate the salvation didn't happen?
    – Double AA
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:14
  • @DoubleAA Statistically it does not hold - Haredis excel in Tzedakkah but are in the lowest levels of the standards of living.
    – Al Berko
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:42
  • Salvation means high standards of living? Haredim excel in receiving tzedaka while the reward is for giving it
    – Double AA
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:10
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/100390/…
    – Al Berko
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


Perhaps Malachi 3:10-12:

הָבִ֨יאוּ אֶת־כָּל־הַֽמַּעֲשֵׂ֜ר אֶל־בֵּ֣ית הָאוֹצָ֗ר וִיהִ֥י טֶ֙רֶף֙ בְּבֵיתִ֔י וּבְחָנ֤וּנִי נָא֙ בָּזֹ֔את אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת אִם־לֹ֧א אֶפְתַּ֣ח לָכֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת אֲרֻבּ֣וֹת הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַהֲרִיקֹתִ֥י לָכֶ֛ם בְּרָכָ֖ה עַד־בְּלִי־דָֽי׃ וְגָעַרְתִּ֤י לָכֶם֙ בָּֽאֹכֵ֔ל וְלֹֽא־יַשְׁחִ֥ת לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֑ה וְלֹא־תְשַׁכֵּ֨ל לָכֶ֤ם הַגֶּ֙פֶן֙ בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת׃ וְאִשְּׁר֥וּ אֶתְכֶ֖ם כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֑ם כִּֽי־תִהְי֤וּ אַתֶּם֙ אֶ֣רֶץ חֵ֔פֶץ אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת׃

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, and let there be food in My House, and thus put Me to the test—said the LORD of Hosts. I will surely open the floodgates of the sky for you and pour down blessings on you; and I will banish the locusts from you, so that they will not destroy the yield of your soil; and your vines in the field shall no longer miscarry—said the LORD of Hosts. And all the nations shall account you happy, for you shall be the most desired of lands—said the LORD of Hosts

As we see, Hashem already guaranteed Berachos in exchange for Tzedakah. As such it would not be fraud.

  • 1
    A good direction, but 1, AFAIK it ONLY applies to the Maaser, as said. 2. Can a Rabbi "carelessly" promise all kind of Yeshuot? The Posuk only speaks about the material benefits.
    – Al Berko
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:32
  • @AlBerko 1. As far as I’ve heard the passuk extends to all types of Tzedakah, not just Maaser. Give me some time to track down a hard source. 2. In the particular case in the OP, they promised joy, health, and wealth, all of which are in these Pesukim.
    – DonielF
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:44
  • BTW it's a big Machlokes if testing G-d is allowed Halachicly. However the ad does not say "test" it promises it. Don't you feel something wrong in your guts?
    – Al Berko
    Mar 7, 2019 at 20:55
  • 1
    SHU"A 247 - סעיף ד הצדקה דוחה את הגזירות הקשות וברעב תציל ממות כמו שאירע לצרפית: הגה: והיא מעשרת. ואסור לנסות הקב"ה כי אם בדבר זה שנאמר "ובחנוני נא בזאת וגו’". וי"א דוקא בנתינת מעשר מותר לנסות הקב"ה אבל לא בשאר צדקה.
    – Al Berko
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:04
  • @AlBerko There’s no machlokes if testing Hashem is allowed. The passuk says it’s forbidden, period. This is the one exception. Cf. Taanis 9a.
    – DonielF
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:11

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