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Skewed View on Charity?

tzedakah charity. jewish charity

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#1 adiel



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Posted 14 August 2012 - 02:27 PM

I'm writing this in hopes that through the discussion, someone can enlighten me about my view on a particular charity case is skewed - or if I have legitimate claim for not wanting to give.

Recently, someone from Israel came to my neighborhood collecting to support his needs as he has a family with 6+ kids. In the course of conversation, it came to light that he doesn't work nor plans to. He enjoys learning full time and has no interest in obtaining a position with the years of learning he has accumulated.

What's bugging me is this: Why should I help him if he isn't willing to do anything for himself? Sure, it's great that he is doing his hishtadlus by going around collecting. But does that really count? It's like no matter how bad the family situation is, he won't do what it takes to change the status quo so that his family won't have to rely on his collecting abilities. So why should I (or anyone) give him $100 or $1000 if he is going to just need it again in 2 weeks?

In certain medical cases, or where one is marrying off there kid - I get it and give what I can. But I'm seeing the above situation more often and it's upsetting that people willingly put themselves in a place where they rely on charity and won't do what it takes to get out.

So is giving to them feeding their bad behavior or should one give to anyone who is willing to ask?

i'm not sure if I've written on this before and its a repost or not. Sorry if it is.
We are the music makers , and we are the dreamers of the dreams. - Willy Wonka

What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. - Napoleon Hill

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#2 Bezalel


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Posted 14 August 2012 - 03:04 PM

He's not a full-time learner. He's a full-time bum.

Is he learning when he's begging money from you and your neighbors? Is he learning when he's traveling to beg money from you and your neighbors? Is he learning when he's halfway around the world from his chavrusa while begging money from you and your neighbors?

And why should you "get it" when someone is marrying off a kid? A wedding can be very simple and inexpensive. The parents of the people being married are under no obligation to buy them an apartment; rather, the "kids" can get jobs and rent a place.

#3 Snag


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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:09 PM

There is merit to your position - the Torah commands that we help others with the verse ozov taazov /imo/, from which Chazal infer that we need not help those who do not help themselves.

OTOH, there is a view that we should show mercy to people in dire straits, without judging the reasons whih brought them there. An added enjoining to attaining this detachment is the hope that when G-d judges us, He too will show mercy for our troubles, while ignoring the fact that our own misdeeds have laid us low.
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

-Mark Twain

#4 spectra



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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:52 PM

You could help him this way. Tell him that you will give him $20.00, if he mows your grass, trims your bushes and washes your car. And that you expect a top quality job. If he says he doesn't want to do that. Then give him the $20.00 and say; that's it. If he says he will do it. Pay him and tell him to come back next week.

I know every situation is different. But if he is able bodied, I see nothing wrong with the deal.

#5 LoveToLaugh



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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:41 PM

I like spectras idea. We could use some work in the yard....
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

#6 Guest_halevy_*

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:26 AM


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