Charity and Prayer

I see the need for charity in the same light as my need for prayer. It is a form of meditating on my life’s meaning. The Rabbi’s teach us that a blessing need not be recited before giving charity or some other good deed because we should not delay one moment, even for prayer, when someone is in need. 

I give charity in many ways — through helping others through tough times, through donations of money, and donations of my time. The mitzvah that compels me to write is forgiveness and judging actions but not people. Who amongst us has not done something they wished they hadn’t? Who among the people who shout their condemnations has not themselves performed an act of perfidy that could or should land them in jail or prison? 

People in need include people who made mistakes. In some way every person in need got there by making some choices there were wrong or at least did not work out.  Reach out to someone in need. Find something more complicated than just writing a check. Help someone who maybe doesn’t “deserve” it because G-d judges people and you can’t. People are punished not because of who they are but what they did. And forgiveness is not the same as condoning. We forgive the person but never condone the behavior, if it was indeed wrong and not excusable. 

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