Reckoning with the Charity Collectors – Bava Basra 9


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The Gemora cites a braisa: The charity collectors are not required to give an account of the monies entrusted to them for charity. And the treasurers of the Temple are not required to reckon the funds given to them for the Temple purposes. And although there is no actual proof of this in the Scriptures, but there is a hint of it in the following verse: And they would not reckon with the men into whose hand they delivered the money, to give to those that did the work, for they dealt faithfully.

Rabbi Elozar said: Even if a man has in his house a treasurer on whom he can rely, he should tie up and count out all money that he hands to him, as it is written: They bound it in in bags and counted the money.

Rashi writes that although he has no intention of demanding an accounting afterwards, he still should tie up and count out all money that he hands to him.

What is the purpose of such a counting?

The Meiri explains that if he will not count it in the beginning, he will certainly suspect the treasurer that he accepted more money then he actually spent. Now that it is counted, at least they are both aware as to the amount of money which was given over to him. One should always make an effort not to suspect a person of committing a wrongdoing.

The Maharsha writes that the money is counted in order that the mazikin (spiritual damagers) should not have any control over the money, for money that is tied, sealed, or counted they cannot have any effect over.

The Ein Eliyahu answers that it is counted in order that the treasurers themselves can make a calculation at the end, if they so desire.