The importance of charity in this time cannot be measured! As the Lubavitcher Rebbe (grand rabbi of chabad lubavitch hassidim) wrote (sicha parshat vayikra 5751):
Just as we must make an effort to study the Pesach (passover) laws, we must also make efforts to provide others with their Pesach needs, giving maos chittim (literally wheat for the needy), the special tzedakah (chartiy) associated with Pesach. Here also, though surely one gave thirty days before Pesach, as the Pesach holiday grows nearer, one must reassess and increase his donations...
The above shares a connection with the Nasi (prince) who brought his offerings on Rosh Chodesh Nissan (the start of the hebrew month of Nissan, the month in which passover comes), Nachshon ben Aminadav. Aminadav can be interpreted as a reference to generosity, the meaning of the word nadav. Nachshon is connected to the service of jumping into the sea, giving himself over with mesirus nefesh (self sacrifice), serving G-d without limitations. Thus, Nachshon ben Aminadav reflects how our generosity must be expressed without limitation, giving in a miraculous manner.
This will bring about the transformation of all undesirable influences. Just as Nachshon's jumping into the sea caused the sea to split and led to the final and the most complete phase of the exodus from Egypt, so too, our unbounded gifts to tzedakah (charity) will bring near the redemption and indeed transform all the negative influences to good.
As the government in Israel continues on it's dangerous path, it has diverted significant portions of it's budget from social services to 'dis-engagement' efforts. This has left the most vulnerable in Israel in terrible shape, with nothing left to fall back on. Real poverty, hunger and malnutrition are becoming rampant. Your help is needed now more than ever.
Please fulfill this wonderful mitzva by helping the needy in Israel. I recommend this very worthy organization (which runs with the lowest expense overhead of any I know):
Help them out!
Yad Eliezer is currently the largest anti-hunger agency in Israel. And each day it struggles to fulfill the many requests for assistance that it receives. As Yad Eliezer’s executive director, Dov Weisel describes it, “Each month is it’s own miracle.”
Exposure to the plight of the poor opens one to the almost insurmountable problems they face. Poverty is a lot more than a lack of funds to cover the budget. It is only a symptom of a whole host of layers upon layers of problems which can be called “the cycle of poverty”. By visiting the homes of those with not enough to feed their children, we find serious cases of undernourishment among children (especially babies). Children who resist going to school because they fear being laughed at by their peers because of the clothing they wear, and children who fall far behind in their studies as a result of a home environment that does not allow them to study.
While Yad Eliezer cannot address every single aspect of this circle of poverty, we do extend ourselves wherever possible. Yad Eliezer offers sufficient food to prepare basic meals. We have addressed the issue of undernourished babies by distributing bay formula to mothers who cannot nurse and who have resorted to diluting the little formula they have to dangerously low levels. Yad Eliezer has an extensive program whereby vast quantities of perfectly good used shoes and clothing is distributed to children so their parents can clothe them with dignity. Our latest program is dealing with the social and educational needs of young boys who have no father figure in the home.