Question: What was so special about the way the milkman's wife carried out her plan?

In this beloved story, the milkman's wife performs the mitzvah of tzedaka at the highest level. The Rambam famously teaches eight levels of how one gives charity.

Rambam's Eight levels of charity

8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4. Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor still doesn't know the specific identity of the recipient.

3. Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2. Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.


In this video the milkman’s wife both offers a job to the shoemaker and also gives charity in a way that the family is unaware that they are receiving tzedaka.


Based on the Hebrew Children's Story
"Ner Dolek MiNer", Ta'am Shel Chag, Dovinsky

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