Thursday, January 28, 2010

What could you live without?


It all began with a stop at a red light.

Kevin Salwen, a writer and entrepreneur in Atlanta, was driving his 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, back from a sleepover in 2006. While waiting at a traffic light, they saw a black Mercedes coupe on one side and a homeless man begging for food on the other.

“Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal,” Hannah protested. The light changed and they drove on, but Hannah was too young to be reasonable. She pestered her parents about inequity, insisting that she wanted to do something. [...]


  1. Very interesting article.

    Call me a cynic, but I was most inspired by the fact that they researched the charities.

    There are those that prey on people's good will. I used to give to a certain yeshiva until I learned the meshulach for them was making 85%. When I had financial trouble one year and couldn't give, his partner had to just about hold him back, he was so furious. That is when I looked into it.

    If you have a substantial amount of money to give and some time, I would suggest you become involved with the tzedokah you choose and, if possible, distribute the money or goods yourself.

    But that is not the point of the article. I remember one psych class where we were taught that people need to be both givers and receivers (where each is appropriate) in order to be healthy members of society. That we need to be part of transactions (this does not refer to TA) to feel part of a group.

    What does Jewish philosophy say about this?

  2. Great story.

    But will it play in Boro Park or Flatbush?

    As to the question of Jewish philosophy and giving, recall the lesson of 'Hashomer achi anochi?'

    Even aniyim have a chiyuv to give.

    Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

    Just give.


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