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Question: My husband is always telling me the wonderful things he’s done to make me happy. If he makes the bed, makes calls on my behalf, works hard in the office, I hear about it. The other day he had to take care of a health insurance issue and he made sure to tell me that it took over two hours and three phone calls, in case I thought it went smoothly. I don’t constantly tally up what I do for him and I find it childish that he does. My friends tell me that their husbands don’t do this – so, why does mine?
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, can be a time of optimism. The observances of the holiday are actually quite therapeutic. Engaging in prayer, charity and repentance clears one's head, and sets us in a position to anticipate a clean slate. We hope for Hashem's blessings for a good year.
Growing up, I was taught the value of self-reliance. Dire straits may force a person to ask for financial assistance from his family, friends or community, but ordinarily, a self-respecting individual should not accept charity. "Better that one's Shabbos meals resemble one's weekday meals than to rely on others for help," the Talmud quotes Rabbi Akiva as saying (Shabbos 118a).
One of the goals we all share as parents and educators is to instill an appreciation for the mitzvah of tzedakah (charity giving) in our children. I have found that one of the most effective methods of achieving this is to present young children with hands-on opportunities to participate in charity projects that are child-centered and age appropriate. There are those who take the attitude, especially as far as school-based programs for boys are concerned, that these are a distraction from limudim.
Truth be told, Hadassah dreaded answering the doorbell. She knew that it was probably a charity collector, and her financial situation was precarious. She had just received a letter from Countrywide Mortgage. If the mortgage on her home in Morristown were not paid by August 12, the house would be placed in foreclosure.
With the economy heading south, we are all looking for ways to cut back on our expenses. I guess that's good news for Motel 6, pawnshops and "Dollar Stores," but it's a pretty lousy development for anyone running a nonprofit organization (like me) because practically everyone except bankruptcy attorneys earns less money in times like these. Less money means less charity giving. Gulp!
We are bombarded with requests for Tzedakah (charity) and it is our responsibility to give.