The Life-Saving Power of Tsedaka by Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi

The Life-Saving Power of Tsedaka by Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi

I heard the following true story this week from my teacher and mentor Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi:

I was so inspired this week by a story I heard about the mitzvah of giving charity.

I heard this story from a woman who came to Israel from Holland. Her husband had a successful business and all day charity collectors would be knocking on their door.

“I hated each one of them personally,” she said. “I couldn’t stand that they were requesting money from my husband all the time. All the time I would demand to know, “How much did you give him? And to that one? And to that other one?”

One day a man came to the husband. “My daughter is in great danger,” he said, “I need $200,000 for an operation.”

“That’s too much…”


The husband gave the desperate man the entire amount and didn’t tell his wife.

That same day his wife was walking on Amsterdam Bridge. Her 2-year-old daughter was walking with her on the bridge, and somehow the daughter’s hand slipped out of her mother’s, and the girl fell into the water.

The girl fell from a great height. The girl did not know how to swim. And the water was polluted and dangerous.

As the police rushed to the river, the woman called her husband in terror.

“Don’t be afraid, nothing will happen to her,” the husband said with strange confidence.

Miraculously, the girl was pulled out of the water without a scratch, totally unharmed.

“How did you know?” the wife questioned her husband.

“On Shabbat you’ll understand,” he was afraid to tell his wife face to face.

On Shabbat the husband went up to the Torah and recited birkat Hagomel and then he said, “I want to share a story with you about the tremendous power of tsedaka…”


  1. Sharon Saunders

    Want to do a mitzva of tzedaka and save a life? You don’t even have to give money. Join the bone marrow donor registry and save someone who need a bone marrow transplant to live. We are a small gene pool and many Jews have been saved by someone on the registry. To get on the registry you need to be under 55 years old and in good health; a simple blood test does it. If you are a match a bit of bone marrow is aspirated at the base of the spine. This is relatively non-invasive and pretty painless – only ibuprofen is given to relieve any pain and your marrow completely regenerates. My daughter Ruthie is 21 years after BMT (B”H). WHEN YOU SAVE 1 LIFE IT IS AS IF YOU HAVE SAVED THE WORLD.

  2. I have no doubt of the power of Tzedaka – Hashem himself tells us that we can “test” Him with Ma’aser and Tzedaka. But who could be so self-satisfied as the father in that story? How did he know that the Tzedaka he had given was enough to cover his daughter’s survival? Maybe Hashem expected even more from him, given that he was so wealthy? Yaakov Avinu himself said, “Katonti mi’Kol HaChasadim” (I am not worthy of all Your favor), and Avraham was afraid after the war when he saved Lot that it had used up all his merits, but this gentleman knows exactly where he and his family stand??

  3. THis is very hashgachic for me because 2 days ago I passed a nice beggar and I only had a 1 shekel or a 10 shekel coin. I hesitated but then gave the 10 shekel. As I walked away he said to me (the first time I have ever heard this) “That tzedaka will save your life”.

    I got a chill when he said it, and I have one now….

  4. The great lubavitcher Rebbe once said the only two real segulas in this world are tzedaka and tehilim. I find comfort in this especially when im in desperate need of a segula and so many are offered and i never know what to do…do i wear the ruby ring, daven at this ones kever, do i eat this fruit, do i do them all, or do i sit and connect to Hashem with tehilim and give to others that also need. The answer is always easy for me.

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