In this week's Perasha, Hashem tells the Jewish people that if another Jew should become impoverished, not only should you help him by lending him money, but when you do make sure you:
"Do not give him your money for interest." (Vayikra 25:37)
There is a powerful message in G-d's decree to not lend money to a fellow Jew with interest. The first thing is to remember that all blessings - including how much money a person has - come directly from G-d. Therefore, when you lend someone money, you're simply giving him some of the money that G-d gave to you. And since it was technically "His" money to begin with, He has the right to tell you to not charge interest when you lend it out.
We unfortunately live in a very selfish world and people often do things for selfish reasons. Hashem wants to insure that when you lend money to someone, it will be completely about the person you're helping - and nothing at all about you. And the fact that any money you lend without interest would certainly earn you a better financial return if you put in into the bank helps to reinforce this point. Lending money to a fellow Jew interest-free makes it all about their needs and not about your own gain.
Hashem wants us always to remember that the ultimate form of giving is when it's done completely and totally selflessly.
No matter what you give to someone who's in need - whether it's money, your time, or advice - make it all about the other person. And ironically, when you give for the right reasons you'll experience something totally remarkable. You'll feel an enormous amount of pleasure. And that's the great paradox. The more selfless of a giver you are, the greater the return you'll actually receive.
Rabbi Isaac Farhi