April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Each day I pull into my driveway and after exiting my car my first stop is usually my mailbox. Most times I look at the mail before I even enter my house as I know that, in most cases, if there are four pieces of mail in the box at least three are headed for my recycling bin. Unfortunately not all of the mail I am speaking of is from Optimum, PSE&G, Verizon or Clipper. There are so many requests each day from Jewish organizations, not even mentioning the constant requests online for various tragic situations. Yesterday, mail from a woman begging for money to help her with her two little children after her husband was killed while driving an MDA ambulance, another begging for help for the medical treatments necessary for her young daughter, and of course the myriad Israeli organizations also begging for help. Of course I want to give to ZAKA, Friends of the IDF, etc., but not all of us are able to do so. It haunts me each day as I open an envelope. Notwithstanding the thought of how all of these vital tzedakahs are hurting, there is also the serious bind of the many local organizations which are also dependent on our dollars to provide their services. I find these choices painful and keep telling myself that I should buy a lottery ticket.

In the midst of a discussion recently, I mentioned that the coming Shabbat will be the yahrzeit of my late father, Paul Stroock, Yoel Avraham ben Yehoshua, z”l, and then we all realized that it will be 40 years since he died. Hard to believe. He was a sweet grandfather who of course never got to meet those born after his death. I especially remember his patience with my daughter, Naama, as he smoked his pipe as she sat next to him and she would puff on his cheeks as he let out smoke rings for her to laugh at. (Not something that would be encouraged today!) Forty years is a long time and many would make a kiddush to commemorate such a yahrzeit, and I immediately thought of doing so. I realized that in the times we live in today it would make so much more sense to make a donation to one of the many organizations that, especially at this time, are in such dire need of funds.

Would it be awful to suggest that we forget the kiddush in honor or memory of an individual and instead give it to a worthy tzedakah? Is that not a much more beautiful way to honor a person’s memory? We have all been inundated with requests from various charities, but since October 7 the outpouring of requests has been overwhelming, and who cannot understand and does not wish to give to the oh-so-many organizations that are putting their lives on the line each day in Eretz Yisroel?

Which one to give to, and how to make that decision, is very complicated. Whatever I decide, or whatever anyone else may decide, I am sure the donation will be much more appreciated than a kiddush would have been. After having seen the destruction, the bravery, the resilience of Am Yisrael, I know that whichever organization I choose, for this year it must go to Israel. Am Yisroel Chai!


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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