web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Money? I’m Giving it Away!


Tzedakah

Tzedakah
Photo Credit: Sophie Gordon/Flash 90

http://notajew-jew.com/?p=85

I thought this would be one of the hardest mitzvot of all.

Years ago, I was taught by secular Jewish friend that giving away money was disrespectful to money. It devalued money to give it away.

And, for years, I agreed. Until I tried it.

There’s a special outreach newspaper that homeless people sell, and they get to keep all the money they raise. When the paper was launched, I was one of its most vocal champions: “finally a way for these people to earn an honest buck, instead of putting out their hands and just begging for it.” But then I promptly forgot about it.

Until a few weeks ago.

I had just spent more money on a single piece of sushi-grade tuna than most homeless newspaper vendors will make in a day, when I emerged from the store and saw…him. My body instinctively tried to carry me away from him. But my new-found Jewish teachings kicked in and stopped me.

I turned, looked him in the eye, and did something I normally avoided like…well…like homeless people on the street. I treated him like a human being. I struck up a conversation. And, while we were talking, I put all of the change in my pocket into his hat. He offered me a paper, and my old instincts kicked back in. “That’s all right,” I said, “I won’t have time to read it.” And he said, with a smile, “Take it. It’s got a good crossword.”

Now, let’s break this down. 1) He already had my money. All of it. Easily tripling what was already in his hat. 2) He had a limited number of newspapers in his hand. Which meant that, if he had kept my newspaper, he could “sell” it again, and make even more money. 3) He smiled and looked into my eyes, long after I had given him my money.

That brief experience was such a blessing to me that it broke my nearly 20-year habit of walking past beggars on the street, not making eye contact, and not giving them money.

He helped me to become a better Jew.

Giving away money may devalue money. But it adds value to my life as a prospective Jew, and to the life of the person I give to.

Is there a more valuable use for money than that?

About the Author: Not a Jew --> Jew is a blog of one man's journey to convert to Judaism. The author has written for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Christians United For Israel, The Jerusalem Post, The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, Townhall, and the Washington Times. He did battle with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of women’s rights, and won – and he stands up for the people and the State of Israel wherever they are threatened: from the university campus to the world stage. His name is not important, but his journey to become a Jew is. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Money? I’m Giving it Away!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A look inside the IAF war room
IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards
Latest Blogs Stories
About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, once he’s “former president Obama” he’ll join anti-Israel Jimmy Carter against Israel.

train track grafitti

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

Doug Goldstein

Find out how to set goals and take better care of your finances.

Does this look like a scene where Israeli police might have shot "two Palestinian civilians," as CNN claimed?

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Australian Ambassador to Israel ran to the hospital in J’m to visit the wounded and to donate blood

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

Pop quiz: The shortest book ever written? “Palestinian History and Positive Contributions” text book

We are the continuing generations from our Father Avraham who was given this Land by our L-rd.

When a country supports ($) the PA or Gaza or “recognizes,” “Palestine,” they promoting terrorism.

There is no question whatsoever that Odeh was behind the fatal bombing of a SuperSol market in 1969

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

Channel 10 TV published on Sunday a poll they commissioned asking Israeli Arabs a rather straightforward but important question:

Today”s discussion: “The effects of current geopolitical situation around the world on investing.”

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

Master Sergeant Zidan Saif (Zt”L) a Druze from the Galilee, was shot and killed saving Jewish lives.

President Rivlin’s recent statements are only half right, and that’s why he’s completely wrong.

More Articles from Not a Jew -> Jew
Piggies

The most recent dream was downright weird and complex. I was confined to a hospital bed, and a doctor gave me an injection. When the “medicine” hit my bloodstream, I sensed something wasn’t Kosher. I asked the doctor: “What did you put in me?” He brushed me off. “Was there pork product in that syringe?” Again, no response. So I grabbed the doctor by his coat, yanked his face closed to mine, and said: “Tell me doc: will that shot kill me now, or in the afterlife?”

Behind Door #2

Many atheists carry a theological crutch. Most are unaware of it. And, if you show it to them, most will deny it’s there. It is the silent belief that, should they ever change their mind about God, God will always be there for them.

Imagine the entire Holocaust happening between the release of Beverly Hills Cop 1 and Beverly Hills Cop 2 – that’s how fresh the Holocaust was in the world in which I grew up.

One of the main things I’ve learned about the differences between Jews and non-Jews (namely Christians) is that non-Jews place a great deal of importance on how you feel, what you believe, your intentions, your inner motivations for being good. By contrast, according my friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Jews “care far less about what you believe. What you do is more important.”

The problem with turning the other cheek is: it doesn’t work. Not with bullies. Not even with Catholic school bullies. Because bullies don’t consult the “Good Book” before they do bad things.

My earliest thought of Judaism came in Catholic school, when I cussed out my grade three teacher for being an anti-Semite. I was no Biblical expert at the age of nine, but even my cursory understanding of the Bible told me that Christians had a heck of a lot in common with Jews.

Years ago, I was taught by secular Jewish friend that giving away money was disrespectful to money. It devalued money to give it away. And, for years, I agreed. Until I tried it.

My considerable experience with bad people is: showing weakness to them never, ever works. Not ever. Never. As evidenced by the entire arc of human, and Jewish, history.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/not-a-jew-jew/money-im-giving-it-away/2012/05/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: