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Have You Given Today?

Of everything I’m grateful for, my husband’s sister, Michal, sits close to the top of the list. From the time we first met as roommates in seminary over two decades ago (wow), I knew right away that she would always be one of the most giving people I would ever meet. Her often empty closet in our dorm room –most of her clothes having been lent out to the rest of us – was enough to reveal a heart that’s always focused on the needs of others.

I’m sure you’ve met such people, those who leave us in awe at their ability to give so completely of themselves:

  • The bookstore owner who confided that he didn’t cash the check of a man who made a large purchase, knowing his challenging financial situation.
  • The man in the car before me that paid my toll……just because?
  • The donor who called me to anonymously sponsor a huge sum so that one of our girls at the Home could wed in dignity, simply because she had the same name of his beloved late wife.
  • The boy who received a Knex tractor set for Chanuka and built it to present to his mother (me) as a gift when she wasn’t feeling well. (It sits on my bureau among my perfumes, mini-vases and other ornaments, challenging the maturity and femininity of each one.)
  • Or how about the story of Millard Fuller? His name might be unfamiliar, but the organization he and his wife founded – Habitat for Humanity – is known throughout the world. A millionaire at 29, he could buy almost anything, but stood to lose his family and sense of self. This was the incentive to trade that lifestyle for a simpler one, reunite with the people who truly mattered, and donate most of his income to social causes. Read more about Millard Fuller on the Bolder Giving website:  http://boldergiving.org 

In Hebrew, the word for charity is ‘tzedakah’ and there is a special obligation to reserve 10 percent of our income for this purpose. While this word refers to giving to those in need, it is derived from ‘tzedek’, meaning righteousness and justice, as if to say that the righteous individual must strive for social justice through giving.

And giving is not reserved exclusively for those who seem to have a lot to give. I believe that most people give because of its effects, the inner personal glow that illuminates the rest of whatever we encounter in our lives.

We’ve featured this clip before – it’s where thoughtful gestures are relayed to others, like a kindness chain that eventually winds up benefitting the person who started it all. Note the eagerness in these individuals to pass on the good that was done to them:

When I visited our precious girls at the Home, I was extremely moved at their unity and care for one another: the way an older girl put her arm around a younger one as she helped with her lunch tray; how the Home Director, Bracha Runes, took a moment to remind two girls to put on sweaters before they ran outside to the playground; the way in which the girls personally greeted me with bright smiles.

When you think about it, so many of these vulnerable girls were taught to accept what they were given and not even dream of anything more. How extraordinary that they can reach into their own broken hearts and still find something to give.

I’m grateful that you’ve partnered with us to ensure that they always feel secure enough to feel that they have something to give to others. It’s a glow from your heart to theirs that resonates in everything they do.

I wish you countless blessings and continued opportunities to keep making this world a better place.


Rachel Weinstein

Director of Development

1 comment

  1. anonymous

    O so nice i think every one should give them money!!! u rock!

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