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A Note And Some Money

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 7/9/2019

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A Note And Some Money

There is a Minhag to give a Tzadik some money along with a Kvitel (a written note to have salvations). This is called a Pidyon. Where does this come from and what is the idea behind this?


The Bnei Yissaschar[1] writes that which one goes to a Tzadik and requests that he daven on his behalf and he gives him money for this, [2]the Raan in his Drashos[3] proved that this was the Minhag. We see this by Shaul when he went to Shmuel and wanted to give a present- ותשורה אין להביא לאיש האל-הים מה אתנו; we have no gift to bring to the man of God, what do we have with us.[4] Also, with the wife of Yeravam when she went to Achiya Hashiloni.[5]


The Bnei Yissaschar also tells us, from the Chozeh of Lublin, that if the prosecutor will say, ‘Are you, the Tzadik, better than the person coming to request that you daven for him,’ the answer is that the Tzadik receives money for this and not that he is better.[6]  


The Minchas Elazar[7] reports that he heard that which they give a Kvitel[8] to a Tzadik is not just a request rather a strong claim. We claim from the Tzadik that we deserve better because we are partners with the Tzadik like a Yissaschar Zevulun. When the Tzadik does his Avoda Lishma, then the person is successful in his endeavors, is healthy and the like. When the Zevulun is lacking in success in this world, then it’s a sign the Yissaschar is not learning Torah and doing his Avoda properly. So, when times are hard, the person comes to the Tzadik saying that he is lacking in Parnassa, health and the like and it’s like he is saying to the Tzadik you have a debt to me since I am lacking these things and in your merit I hoped to be saved. Because he doesn’t wasn’t to tell this to the Tzadik verbally, he shows him a Kvitel which is a more honorable way and then the Tzadik gets the point.

R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

[1] Igra D’Pirka, 7

[2] The following hint has been said: It is writtenויתן לו מזהב שבא ויתפלל בעדו... (Tehillim 72:15. The simple meaning is, ‘And he will give him of the gold of Sheba and he will Daven for him.’) that through a person giving a Tzadik from his wealth, the Tzadik can daven and perform for him salvations.   

[3] Drush 2

[4] Shmuel 1, 9:7

[5] Melachim 1, 14:3

[6] In Igra D’Pirka (25), he writes we saw with our eyes that when the Chozeh would read the names of those written on the Kvitel, he would think with his Ruach Hakodesh if the actions of this person were pure and straight or the opposite. Many times we heard him say before reading the Kvitel לשם יחוד קודשא בריך הוא ושכינתיה (This translates as ‘For the sake of the unification of Hashem and His Presence.’)...

[7] Divrei Torah, מהדורה ז, 83

[8] The Minchas Elazar (Divrei Torah,מהדורה ט , 79, חיים ושלום, Vayera s.v. ויבקע) writes he heard from the Darkei Teshuva who heard from his Rebbe, the Divrei Chaim, that once when they gave him a Kvitel which was written lengthy in detail with many needs, he was upset (הקפיד). He said when I was young and traveled to my Rabbeim and many Tzadikim, when I gave a Kvitel and Pidyon, I only wrote חיים בן מרים להצלחה. And with the Bracha of Hatzlacha, everything is included. He then thinks of many salvations spiritually and physically that is included in Hatzlacha.

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