For Hanukkah, Lillian found and gave me a perfect new bucket for the pond.
One of Maimonides, the medieval Jewish scholar, most famous ideas was his Eight Levels of Giving. They are still very germane today. According to the list the highest level is giving a loan to a person in need and the lowest is “giving unwillingly.” I’ve reprinted the entire list below.
Rebecca remembered that I wanted a new computer game and got me hooked happily on WarLight.
I was reminded of Maimonides classification system during this years Hanukkah gift giving extravaganza. A gift has to fill needs of both the giver and the receiver. Many don’t. Some gifts are bought on demand, some are given as a duty and some are perfect, filling a need the recipient didn’t know they had. I decided to write a list of the Eight Levels of Gift Giving. Originally I had seven levels but Fred R suggested that a list that refers to Hanukkah should have eight. The first level is most preferable but most gifts are appreciated:
- A Gift that the receiver wanted but didn’t expect.
- A Gift that creates new opportunities for the recipient.
- A Gift that is made or discovered rather than just purchased.
- A Gift that is purchased because the giver would like to have it.
- A Gift that is purchased because it is easy to buy or generic.
- A Gift that is outside the expectations of cost or effort.
- A Gift that is specifically requested or clearly needed by the recipient.
- A Gift that is purchased by the recipient and labeled as if from the giver.
I loved these kitchen utensils when we saw them in Israel. Nurit found them and bought me the set.
I was lucky enough to get three gifts from the first level this year. All of which are used to illustrate the article.
This is taken from Wickipedia. Maimonides lists his famous Eight Levels of Giving (where the first level is most preferable, and the eighth the least):
- Giving an interest-free loan to a person in need; forming a partnership with a person in need; giving a grant to a person in need; finding a job for a person in need; so long as that loan, grant, partnership, or job results in the person no longer living by relying upon others.
- Giving tzedakah anonymously to an unknown recipient via a person (or public fund) which is trustworthy, wise, and can perform acts of tzedakah with your money in a most impeccable fashion.
- Giving tzedakah anonymously to a known recipient.
- Giving tzedakah publicly to an unknown recipient.
- Giving tzedakah before being asked.
- Giving adequately after being asked.
- Giving willingly, but inadequately.
- Giving “in sadness” – it is thought that Maimonides was referring to giving because of the sad feelings one might have in seeing people in need (as opposed to giving because it is a religious obligation; giving out of pity). Other translations say “Giving unwillingly.”