Dear Rabbi Simon
In a recent “Ask Rabbi Rashi” column, re yahrzeit, you said that if there is an option of sponsoring the kiddush or providing food and drink at some level, this would also be a source of “elevation of the soul”. My question is, Would it not be better to give money to charity than sponsoring a kiddush?
Thank you for your question. Yes, tzedakah is always meritorious, and is certainly to be encouraged. However, sponsoring a kiddush is also a form of tzedakah as the shul (as in Kesher and elsewhere) will otherwise need to provide this from communal funds.
Also, every berakhah recited accrues to the merit of the deceased.
Finally, don’t forget that the one who sponsors the Kiddush on a particular Shabbos may well have benefitted from the largesse of others week by week the whole year. This is a way for him to reciprocate and pull his own weight (if s/he has the means to do so).
Best wishes and hayyim arukhim (“long life”)
Rabbi Rashi Simon