From the Rambam’s (Maimonides’) eight ways to give, From the “least-best” way to the highest level of giving, below is a list of how we give Tzedakah
Needless to say, the recipient of tzedakah must be spared from shame or humiliation. As it is written in the Talmud, when R, Yannai observed somebody giving money to a poor man in public, he said: “Better not to have given him anything than to have given and caused humiliation.”
- Giving but do so in sadness
- Giving less than is fitting, but in good spirit,
- Giving only after having been asked,
- Giving before being asked,
- Giving so that the donor doesn’t know who the recipient is,
- Giving so that the recipient doesn’t know who the donor is,
- Giving so that neither knows the identity of the other, and
- Giving in a manner so that the recipient becomes self-sufficient, thus avoiding the loss of self-respect that may result from receiving the lower degrees of charity.
As we can see, all are forms of giving, some of course are (much) better than others.
As I am sure is the case in many households, there’s a very interesting point in time that joins two periods in the annual cycle of events. The end of summer vacation and the beginning of the school year.
FOR THE KIDS its a time mixed feelings; feelings of sadness at the end of summer’s “freedom”; feeling of anticipation (and sometimes sadness…) as the new school year approaches. Will there be new kids in the class, who will be my teacher, how will my grades be this year, and so one.
FOR THE PARENT’S part, its a time of excitement at their children’s advancement to a higher grade, and perhaps even a time of relief from needing to keep the kids busy over the summer. There is however another set of feelings that many families experience. STRESS!
The stress of how to make ends meet during this time can be immense. The question becomes, how can an Israeli family with 5, 7 or more kids do it? The answer is not clear…
A good friend of mine, who happens to be in a lot of debt… also has a debt to Bituach Leumi (National Insurance. The debt “cropped up” as a result of his trying to come clean with all the tax authorities. Even though he hadn’t been “making a living” in the years that the debt was incurred, he was still assessed for several thousands of shekels owing.
As part of his “survival strategy”, he basically ignored this ticking time bomb so that he could pay for the basic necessities, milk, diapers, bread, and the like. The problem is of course, that as with (almost) all debt, it eventually catches up. and that it did.
In due course the child allowance payments stopped coming in. At 1800 shekels a month, for someone not-getting-by on his 10,000 pre-tax salary, that’s a lot of cash. Especially when there are 7 children, a wife, and himself to feed.
In case you were wondering, this is NOT an article complaining about the Israeli government and its policies.
Its simply an article that tries to demonstrate the close to impossible situation many Israelis live in.
Well, there are people who really do have more serious problems, health, Shalom Bayit et-al. As they say, it’s only money…
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Karmey Chesed is active in avoiding waste and preserving our global environment! We relay donated items, appliances and furniture to the needy, thus avoiding unnecessary waste, trash and preserving our global resources. Our activities also ensure that the needy are not compelled to purchase new electrical items, which create added pollution in our atmosphere. Just another reason to donate to Karmey Chesed! Lots of people talk about ‘being green,’ but we do it good day
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Dvar Torah – By Sam Cohen
Shalom, the parshah starts off with Moshe explaining to the Jews that a Jew brings blessing upon himself by fulfilling a mitzvah and in turn if one does a transgression, a curse will be upon him self.
This proves how important it is that we try the whole day and strive to only do good deeds, both by being nice and good to our fellow man and by learning and keeping to the Torah!
After that the Torah reading reiterates how we are not allowed to add and subtract to the commandments, Moshe warns the Jews that they are to disregard false prophets. Hashem only brings the false prophets about to test the Jews faith in Hashem. A prophet that instructs the Jews to permanently cancel one of the mitzvot is put to death by the Beit Din, however if an established prophet temporarily suspends a mitzvah, he must be obeyed, we learn a case where this occurred in the book of Kings, when Eliyahu erected an alter outside the temple at a time when private alters were forbidden, in order to disprove claims of the prophets of the Ba’al.
Then it states how it is prohibited to show excessive signs of mourning, such as marking the skin or making a bald spot. It was the common practice of the Emorim to show excessive grieving, firstly we may not copy the other nations and also by grieving to excessively we are showing that we are even more merciful than G-d.
Moshe then reiterates the classifications of kosher and non-kosher food and the prohibition of cooking meat and milk. We learn about which animals are kosher also in parshat Shmini.
The Torah then teaches that produce of the second tithe must be eaten in Jerusalem, and if the amount is too much to carry, it may be exchanged for money with which food is then bought in Jerusalem. In certain years this tithe is given to the poor to be specific on the third and the sixth year.
The Torah then describes that the Bnei Yisrael are instructed to always be open-hearted and kind, and in the seventh year any loans must be discounted — Hashem will bless the person in all ways. If an individual observes the laws and gives charity, Hashem blesses them with more back.
The parshah then states that a Jewish bondsman is released after six years of work, and must be sent away with generous provisions. If he refuses to leave, his ear is pierced with an awl at the door post and he remains a bondsman until the Jubilee year (50th year).
The Torah reading ends with a description of the three pilgrimage festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Succot. Where an individual is obligated to bring the tithe to Jerusalem so that him and his family can eat it there and will be in the presence of the Sanhedrin, Kohanim and many torah scholars in order to spiritually elevate the people bringing their offerings.
I am dedicating this Dvar Torah in the merit of Yosef ben Zilpah to get better from health problems.
Hope you all have a great week!
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People in serious debt have a constant struggle. They struggle to get by on a week to week, if not day to day basis. They struggle to make ends meet. To keep the electricity and water running, let alone put food on the table. In such situations it sometimes (many times?) seems like there will never be an end to the insanity. There will never be an end to the tunnel, let alone light at the end of the tunnel.
One thing over and above all the usual strategies and tactics used in such struggles is perhaps the key ingredient to finally “making it”. After all the weekly budgets, categories within the household budgets, debt counseling, debtors anonymous, and of course prayer, it just might be the glue that holds it all together. HOPE!
Yes, the belief, the faith, the hope, that it will all work out in the end. As the title of Barak Obama’s book calls it, “The Audacity of Hope!”
A faith in one’s self, in the ability of human beings to not only survive the struggle, but to succeed is perhaps THE driving force that keeps these people going. That is, the ones that choose to keep going until they finally reach their long hoped for destination, financial stability. Here’s hoping…
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.
Nothing like summer time. Free time for all to enjoy. Swimming, camping, summer breezes, picnics and more. Family fun for all. That as we know however is not for all to be had.
There are families that not only do not have the pleasures of a lazy and casual summer. Their are those that do not even have milk in the fridge for that late morning summer cup of coffee.
Here’s the beginning of the Wiki on poverty:
Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to being unable to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. Relative poverty refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.
For most of history poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as traditional modes of production were insufficient to give an entire population a comfortable standard of living. After the industrial revolution, mass production in factories made wealth increasingly more inexpensive and accessible. Of more importance is the modernization of agriculture, such as fertilizers, in order to provide enough yield to feed the population.
The supply of basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government services such as corruption, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, accommodating business regulations and providing financial services. Today, poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.
Years can go by until two critical things happen. 1. The pain of perpetual poverty becomes too great to continue on that way and 2. The person finally wakes up that day and says “enough is enough”. In other words, it’s wake up time!
That’s the day when people start sleeping less, working more, eating right, seeing the kids less, relying less on Tzedakah etc. etc. etc, and last but certainly not least, praying more.
That’s the day that there begins to be true hope for a better life, a better future. As Joan Baez said, “Action is the antidote to despair”.
Years after the expulsion from Gush Katif. The story of one family. Social workers needing social workers
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