HOW DO YOU GIVE? TALMUD, KETUBOT 67B
Background: Mar (title of honor, like sir) Ukva: (250 CE) was a scholar and teacher who lived in Babylonia. Known for his wisdom and wealth, he became Exilarch, the leader of the exiled Babylonian Jewish community even without a customary, long-standing lineage of leadership. Head of the court in the city of Kafri, is said to have been a healer.
- 1.Mar 'Ukva had a poor person in his neighborhood; every day he would throw four zuz* through his door jamb.*A day’s wages.
- 2.One day, he said, "I’ll go and see who does this kindness for me."
- 3.That day, Mar 'Ukva was late coming home from the study hall, and his wife (literally 'his house') came to meet him.
- 4.As soon as he saw them move the door, he ran out after them.
- 5.They ran from him, into an oven that had just been raked.
- 6.Mar 'Ukva's feet were burning.
- 7.His wife (lit. 'his house') said to him, “Lift up your feet and place them on mine."
- 8.Mar 'Ukva was upset.
- 9.She said to him, “I am [usually] at home, and my support is direct.”
- 10.*And what was the point of all this?
- 11...."It is better for a person to throw themselves into a fiery furnace than to embarrass someone (literally 'whiten someone's face') in public."*