Saturday, March 23rd | 16 Adar II 5779

June 9, 2013 3:01 pm

Do Not Give Charity!

avatar by Chas Newkey-Burden

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A Tzedakah (charity) box. Photo: WMPearl.

Why on earth did I write that headline for a post asking you to sponsor me for my Windsor Half Marathon? I’ll get to that in a moment. First, I’d like to tell you about the work Israel’s oldest charity does for widows and orphans.

Since its foundation in 1788, the charity Colel Chabad has worked to alleviate the material and emotional suffering of Israel’s poor, many of whom are widows and orphans. In fact, Colel Chabad has an entire division dedicated to widows and their children. Their approach is holistic: taking into account the material and emotional needs of hundreds of orphaned families.

The charity provides tutors for hundreds of orphans and also social workers who monitor the domestic situation of each family. As appropriate, Colel Chabad also provides widows and orphans with: cash grants, regular food deliveries, holiday clothing vouchers, career counseling and retraining, a big brother or sister, psychological support, youth clubs, music lessons, and driving lessons when a license is needed for employment.

As with all of the charity’s work, all of the above is carried out with the aim of maintaining and enhancing the dignity of the family.

One of my favorite sayings of the Chabad Rebbe is this:

Do not give charity.

Giving charity means being nice and giving away your money. But who says it is your money to begin with? It is money put in your trust, to be disbursed for good things and for others when they will need it.

Change your attitude. Instead of doing what is nice, do what is right. Put the money where it belongs.

Not ideal words to preceed an appeal for sponsorship. Or are they? I’ll see, I suppose. I’m running the Windsor Half Marathon to raise fund for Colel Chabad. If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do that here.

Visit Chas’s blog here.

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