Posted by admin under Child Poverty, Children, Crime, Disposable Income, Divorce, Getting By In Israel, Green Charity, Perspective, Poverty in Israel, Self Improvement, Social Justice, Solutions to Poverty, Terrorism and Poverty, Torah, Tzedakah, Uncategorized, Unemployment, What can "I" do, What can THEY do, World Poverty
If we appreciate what we have, we may just want to lend that helping hand to those who have-not:
On Sukkot, we are instructed to “live in booths seven days…in order that future generations may know that [G-D] brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:42-43). The Sukkah reminds us of the Israelites’ temporary dwellings during their forty years wandering in the desert. The Sukkah is a symbol of the protection G-D granted us during that transient period when we were instructed to “thrive and increase and be able to possess the land that the Eternal promised on oath to [our] fathers” (Deuteronomy 8:1). Sukkot is also known as Chag Ha’asif (the Holiday of Gathering). The Torah recognizes this time of year as one during which food was bountiful and the earth full of blessings (Deuteronomy 16:13, 15 and Leviticus 23:39).
G-D’s directions to thrive and increase must not have been easy for a people wandering through the desert. Even with our more sedentary lifestyle, they remain challenging for us. Especially in a time of economic crisis, how do we ensure that food, if not bountiful for all, is at least accessible to all? How do we best fulfill G-D’s commandments to care for our children so they may grow into healthy and productive adults?
From our days wandering in the desert through present times, the Jewish people have acted on G-D’s wisdom and commands, prioritizing the protection of the most vulnerable. On this Sukkot let us be inspired by our rich tradition as a people who place great value on the sanctity and welfare of children. And let us remember that our responsibility lies beyond the mitzvah of welcoming into our Sukkah those who are hungry or in need of shelter. Let us also work to ensure that in our children’s generation, no one knows the ravages of hunger or the sting of poverty.
Adapted from here.
Do you inwardly cringe when you see the word “budget”? Does the sound of the word bring with it a sense of dread? I even have the nerve to put the word “discipline” into the post title. You may have thought of creating a budget for you or your family, but, never quite completed the job. There was not enough internal motivation or external push at the time, so the effort was relegated to the pile of started, but, unfinished tasks. Well, having a budget is a giant step toward building discipline into your spending.
So, Why Do I Need a Budget?
So, “Why do I need a budget?” you might ask. In the midst of a financial crisis, it’s even more important to know where your money is going. A budget is a spending plan. It allows you to see the various buckets of your income and spending grouped together in way that you can easily see if you are achieving your financial goals, or heading for trouble. Trouble hits when you are spending more than is coming in. You could be making a six-figure income, but, it’s not what you make, it’s what you are able to keep in your control that matters most. Using credit to make ends meet definitely does not help your financial stance.
Most folks know what being “broke” means…having little or no available cash, no savings, out of money, strapped, or down-and-out. The word “broke” has the connotation of being a temporary situation. That is, you’re only “broke” until your next paycheck clears the bank. If “broke” is where you are, you don’t need to stay there. Creating and sticking to a budget is a means to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
The question is: “Do you want to continue managing your money so that you are “broke” before each payday”? Or, do you want to develop a spending plan that allows you to give as the Lord instructs, to beat debt, to send your children to college, to build that retirement nest egg, or whatever goal the Lord has given you?
What Does a Budget Provide?
Here is what a budget provides:
- a sense of control over your spending;
- an organized view of income vs. expenses;
- a framework within which to operate;
- improved awareness of the flow of your money during the month; and a
- method for achieving your financial goals
My husband and I have been married for more than twenty years. I handle the household expenses. Before I started our family budget, I would experience great anticipation when I knew a payday was close at hand. Then, a few days afterward, I’d be wondering what in the world happened to our income. It was as if our dollars had evaporated. After being consistently frustrated month after month with not knowing where my family’s money was really going, I decided to change my thinking from “dread” concerning creating a workable spending plan, to avid interest and motivation. What I learned immediately was what a budget is NOT! From 10TalentWealth.com
I had the pleasure of attending a very beautiful wedding this evening. The guests were dressed in the finest. Both the bride’s ad the groom’s families were at their fines The smorgasbord was great, and the dinner even better.
THE ONLY THING that bothered me was that the father of the b=groom is someone who literally has to work 3 hours per meal served there to pay for the wedding. And that’s just for the c What about the clothes, the band, the photographer? To be honest, I do not know if this was one of those “the-bride’s-side-pays-for-the-wedding weddings, or if was a 50/50 deal. Whatever the case, I think there is something truly wrong when one side of the wedding is expected to foot such a large amount of money because the other wants a “fancy” affair.
In this particular case I personally know the family and know that he father of the groom worked untold extra hours to pay for his part. I TRULY BELIEVE that there has to be a new movement started on which weddings and other simcha expenses are kept to a realistic and more modest expenditure.. There are some chasidic groups who have started this and this is the way!
Everywhere one turns the European social welfare model, or as it is sometimes called in the United States, the blue-state model, is breaking down. The president of the European Council said already more than a year ago, “We can’t finance our social model anymore.” And in the United States, the so-called Red States have consistently outperformed over the past decade the Blue States, which follow the European model of high taxes, high spending, and strong public employee unions. Hundreds of thousands of workers have fled high-tax California for Texas, which has no state income tax. Over the past decade, states with no state income tax grew 18% versus 8% for the other states. The 22 states with right-to-work laws have grown 15% versus 6% for the other states. And those that do not require collective bargaining for public employees grew 15% versus 7% for those that do.
Recognition that the social welfare model is history fuelled the huge Republican gains in the 2010 elections. But in other ways, the news has been slow to seep in. Despite the fact that California has been reduced to issuing paper chits for obligations it cannot meet, and the state’s rapid population loss, Californians still elected 1970s retread Jerry Brown, the one-time Governor Moonbeam, over a highly successful Republican businesswoman with an inexhaustible campaign chest in 2010. Illinois, with hundreds of millions in unfunded pension plan liabilities, nevertheless narrowly elected a Democratic governor, who promptly pushed for in increase in the state income tax, even as Republican governors of surrounding states openly solicited Illinois businesses to flee to them. And as the collapse of the European social welfare model in Europe was becoming more and more evident, the United States enacted a massive regulatory scheme, touching every aspect of national healthcare (about one-sixth of the overall economy) that will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt in the coming decades.
The question, then, becomes what is the enduring attraction of the European model, and why is it so hard to reverse? Walter Russell Mead begins to answer the question with a description of the.progressive social model: “A bureaucratic and professional elite would mediate social conflict between rich and poor, improving the lives of the poor while engineering the best possible administrative solutions to pressing social problems.” The ideal was “revolutionary and even a noble one,” he notes, and it particularly appealed to one class of people – the best and the brightest who would form that professional elite. More insight here.
Since the industrial revolution, people have become disconnected from the very life forces that sustain us. Rather than seeing ourselves as an intricate and essential part of life’s cycle, we believe that we have power over Earth’s ecosystems. As indicated by mounting scientific research from all corners of the globe, that approach is simply not sustainable, and our current way of living must be overhauled.
During the next century, as population doubles and resources available per person drop by one-half to three-fourths, humankind will have to drastically alter fundamental ways of thinking and operating in order to survive. The number one challenge that will face today’s children as they enter adulthood will be how to reconcile the impact of their daily lives with the limitations of our global ecosystems.
Green design is one of the ways we can limit our impact on the world’s systems.
Philanthropy can be an effective form of civic action. Promoting an initiative which raises and disburses money not only enables individuals to provide financial resources to worthy organizations and agencies, but also can enable people to connect to educational issues in their communities, build leadership skills, and encourage greater community involvement.
One common approach to student driven philanthropy efforts is called a philanthropy circle. In a philanthropy circle, the participants contribute a set sum of money, which is then matched by a supporting organization or foundation.
For example, a program with 15 participants who contributed $250 each would, with matching funds, have $7500 to distribute. The participants then research fields, request proposals, and interview organizations to make decisions about where to best direct the money.
Another model of student philanthropy involves raising money through bake sales, dance-a-thons, or concerts. This mode of philanthropy enables a large number of people to participate in a good cause. The high-visibility nature of many of these philanthropy initiatives has the potential to educate both the participants and the broader public about a specific problem or issue. We recommend that those planning for fund-raising initiatives think beyond the best strategies for raising money. Adequate time and energy should also be devoted to where and how these funds will be distributed. As part of a service-learning program, the process of determining which organizations to support and how money should be spent is a powerful opportunity for reflection and growth. If there is a 12-person committee to organize the fundraiser, there should be at least that number of people engaging in the process of determining how to best distribute those funds. Philanthropy projects are often most effective when run in conjunction with advocacy or education campaigns. From here.
Jonathan Rosenblum gets right to the point in pointing out just what we need for all of societies challenges, people with vision.
A talmid chacham approached me last week with a question about the chareidi media’s coverage of the horrible Carmel Forest fire, in which 44 people died. In the secular and national religious press, he noted, there were pictures of the victims, and, at the very least, some context to the lives lost – parents, spouse, children, and siblings. But in the chareidi press, the coverage focused almost entirely on the religious Jews who perished in the blaze – for instance, Rabbi Uriel Malka, a rav in the prison services – or on particularly moving stories, like that of the sixteen-year-old Haifa fire department volunteer, Elad Rivan, who rushed from his high school classroom to join in rescue efforts and was overcome by the flames. Absent, however, were the capsule biographies of the other victims. Why? he asked. (A caveat: I cannot personally confirm this claim; I did not read the entire chareidi press.)
One does not want to make too much of this. The staff of Mishpacha’s English edition, for instance, had less than a day to put together its entire fire coverage, while also putting to bed the rest of the issue. And it is human nature that the loss of those with whom one identifies more closely will be felt more strongly.
At the same time, it is incumbent upon Torah Jews to never to forget that the loss of every Jew diminishes all of us. Once, all Jews understood that. “Jewish unity,” used to be a frequent Jewish federation slogan, before the pretense became laughable. But the farther removed Jews are from the shtetls of Eastern Europe and immigrant neighborhoods, from a common history and shared experiences, the fewer bonds they feel to one another. The full article here.
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