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Eight Rungs of the Giving Ladder

The concept of giving anonymously without knowing the recipient can be traced back to ancient Israel. Beggars would regularly congregate next to a wall of a courtyard and donors, being aware of this, would face the opposite direction and toss coins over the shoulders in the direction of the wall. Therefore, the recipients of the charity would not feel ashamed or indebted to the giver.

Maimonides, a 12th century Jewish scholar, invented the following ladder of giving. Each rung up represents a higher degree of virtue:

  • The lowest: Giving begrudgingly and making the recipient feel disgraced or embarrassed.
  • Giving cheerfully but giving too little.
  • Giving…

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Last Updated : Friday, December 3, 2021