Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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Why Charity?

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Around Chanukah time, we say from chassidus, 'a little light dispels a lot of darkness'. The analogy, even a candle lights up a whole dark room, is easily understood.

Last weekend, I had the honor to attend a wedding of the son of one of my rabbaim from a long time ago (the last post was from that wedding). I saw some old friends and watched a little boy who I knew well, all grown up now, get married. It was a happy and heart filled occasion.

During the wedding by the door were some people collecting charity. I was blessed at that moment to have a bit to give (and required to do so), so I handed one woman a bit more than most were giving. She was so so thankful, and went on to me for a while about how much this was going to help her. I told her she had it wrong, I was required to thank her! Why? Because her difficult circumstances provided me the opportunity to give. And for my giving to make a difference in someones life. And I did thank her.

One of my daughters surprised me by getting involved with The Friendship Circle. This is a program that offers programs for special needs children, those with great needs, and gives their parents and families just a few hours of relief through special outings and 'friend' visits. All the friends are volunteer teens. The families involved speak so highly of the program. Just a few hours of relief a month makes the difference for them! Knowing someone cares and helps, just a bit, lights up their darkness.

Reb Nati wrote here about his Kimcha d'Pischa - Moas Chitim, Help for the Poor for Passover campaign. A nearby family, the mother couldn't take the pressure of circumstances and left. The father is caring for the family of 5, the neighbors are feeding them. Another family, who lives on the edge themselves, is housing a family from Gush Katif. Some families have lost their jobs, new 'security' measures make it take 4 hours to get to Jerusalem in what used to take 30 minutes, they just can't do it.

Israel is not a poor place, but it is a place of great dichotomy. The government is squeezing, both those who cling to the land, those who cling to Torah, and the poor. They're struggling not to abandon Eretz HaKodesh, the Holy Land. Please give them a hand. 100% of every dollar, shekel, or euro (minus the credit transaction fee) will go directly into the hands of those in need. A few dollars/shekels/euro can make a big difference for some this Passover. Help them out!

If you choose not to help via Reb Nati, please, please consider one of these very worthy highly recommended charities in Israel:

Yad Eliezer Passover Campaign - or - Colel Chabad Soup Kitchens

Thank you, and may Hashem bless you to always have the means to be able to give generously, and bless you and yours with a Chag Kasher v'Samayach, a Kosher and Happy Passover!

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