Subscribe To our E-Newsletter
Living with Integrity Lesson 3: Charity
One week before the holiday, we discover our mailbox stuffed with letters
seeking donations. A reminder from the local synagogue, three appeals
from various Israeli institutions, requests from a symphony orchestra, self-proclaimed
friends of nature, and the fraternal order of police, topped off with a
request from a toy drive for a children’s hospital.
As you consider replying to some of them, you recall that your cousin recently
asked to borrow a significant sum—he is out of work and in trouble with his
mortgage. Have you any obligation to help? In deciding to assist, how should
you determine your priorities? What about the two pitiful beggars you encounter
each morning on your commute to work?
While charity is globally acclaimed, we still need to discover its guidelines. Are
synagogue dues charity? What about our taxes—do they not assist the poor and
the sick? Could a percentage of our tax money be considered charity?