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Tzedakah Essays & Insights

Charity in a Failing Economy
Giving charity is really not a luxury; it is a necessity for both the recipient and the donor. If we want to survive this recession, we need to survive it together...
Irrationality Met Its Match
Can you imagine? Someone feels the impact of a weak economy and responds by giving away more money? Does that make any sense?
The Myth of Charity
Do not be misled by the legendary philanthropy of the Jews, by their saturation of social and humanitarian movements, by their invention of the pushka, the meshulach and the UJA. Jews do not practice charity, and the concept is virtually nonexistent in Jewish tradition.
The Heresy of Kindness
They asked the Baal Shem Tov: "The Talmud tells us that for every thing G-d forbade, He provided us something permissible. What did He permit that corresponds to the sin of heresy?" Replied the Besht : "Acts of kindness"
Do You Get Charity?
Tests revealed that participants were wrong about the impact of money on happiness. A significant majority thought that personal spending would make them happier than pro-social spending...
A Wise Business Decision
"Here is a wise Jew, who understands that this is only an attempt to test him. He also understands that when he will withstand the test, not only will his business be as prosperous as beforehand, but it will be better than before..."
Cut Back!
Imagine a stock trader selling off his computers, a cab driver cutting back on gasoline purchase or a printer auctioning off his presses. You don't tamper with whatever is generating the income!
The Philanthropic Pauper
"Everyone is obligated to give charity. Even people supported by charity must contribute from what they receive." A law that seems radical on the one hand, and absurd on the other...
Count Down to Charity
The wealthy fellow politely explained how he would love to give but can’t, because he already gave his share of charity for the year . . .
MP3s and the Good Enough Revolution
Are you investing your life savings based on wikinformation? Are you treating a fatal condition based on a health blog you found? Are you calling a once-in-a-lifetime business contact on a VOIP line?
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Charity?
What would you do if you had a fortune worth millions?
Millionaire Karl Rabeder decided to give it all away to charity, down to the last penny, or Euro. Would our world be healed if more people did the same? Hardly.
Charity: an Anthology
How to give, how to receive, what it means, what it does, the cosmic significance, a dialog with the moon, and ramblings on stress and love...
Healthy Give and Take
He held two backpacks, one full of sandwiches and the other money. He strolled down the aisle offering the patrons a choice: "If you have, please give. If you need, please take."
I Asked for Money
We arranged an appointment. I came prepared. I made my pitch, explained our plans, emphasized the opportunities that lay ahead and then paused. The pause. That time it didn't work.
You Only Own What You Give
"When the king asked me to disclose my holdings," the rabbi explained, "I included only the funds that I have donated to charity. Those are the holdings I know will always be mine..."
A Poor Man's Gift
Jewish wisdom sees the saving of physical life and the giving of spiritual life as two sides of the same coin of charity. To some we give dollars, to others we give sense.
Why did G‑d create a world with those who have resources and those who are in need? It could have been much simpler if G‑d just evenly distributed the resources to all.
So, at the risk of ending my career, I would like to share with you a wonderful piece of news: The world is becoming a very generous place. You want proof?
Smiles on Loan
The truest form of charity is to provide without discrimination. This means that we leave it to the poor to decide what is important and what is not.
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