The last paragraph of "Yekum Purkan" - the prayer recited on Shabbat before Musaf - has a paragraph that praises the people that supply the needs of the synagogue and community. There is a phrase that says (my translation):

...And all those that occcupy themselves with the needs of the congregation Be'emunah

My understanding of "Be'emunah" means "with faith" or "with belief". What faith or belief is there with the physical action of supporting the congregational needs? Wouldn't a more appropriate word be Bitzadaka - with "charity" or a some term meaning "with generosity"?

1 Answer 1


Be'emunah means faithfully, like (Shabbos 31a) נשאת ונתת באמונה - Did you do business faithfully? In other words honestly, without taking undue personal benefit from the work.

See also Melachim II 12:16:

וְלֹא יְחַשְּׁבוּ אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר יִתְּנוּ אֶת הַכֶּסֶף עַל יָדָם לָתֵת לְעֹשֵֹי הַמְּלָאכָה כִּי בֶאֱמֻנָה הֵם עֹשִֹים

Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to give to them that did the work; for they dealt faithfully. (Mechon Mamre)

And they would not reckon with the men into whose hand they would give the money to give the foremen over the work, for they did [the work] honestly. (Chabad.org)

Similarly, at the end of Modeh Ani in the morning: Rabbah Emunasecha - Your faithfulness, as in reliability, is great.

That is the plain meaning. In Tanya (Chapter 42 near the end) there is an additional connotation of Emunah - training, as in a craftsman (אומן) who is well trained through repetition. That could be applied here as well - working for the needs of the congregation competently and repeatedly.

  • Thanks. The Tanya angle is a really nice explanation as well. A bit of stretching of Ivrit, perhaps, as the correct term would be "B'Umanut".
    – DanF
    Jun 10, 2014 at 14:20
  • Or better yet -- "with integrity." It echoes II Kings 12:16, "for the craftsmen worked with integrity."
    – Shalom
    Jun 11, 2014 at 0:09
  • "faithfulness, as in reliability"....+1
    – MTL
    Jun 11, 2014 at 5:09

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