April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Rabbi Dr. Wallace Greene’s fine article brought long-ago thoughts to mind (“Tzedakah Education” March 24, 2022).

My parents, z”l, were Holocaust survivors. When we arrived in this Golden Land of opportunity we were embraced by a loving extended family.

My father was a tailor—never did his weekly pay envelope exceed $100. My mother worked at a minimum wage job.

BUT there was a JNF pushke in our home, and every Friday before licht benching, we put a little in. I recall going downtown with my mother for a doctor’s visit. We got off the bus (my parents never owned a car) and there was a blind man standing there playing an accordian. There was a soup ladle mounted on the front of his accordian. I was given a quarter to put into the ladle.

Teaching by example, my wife and I have tried to pass this tradition onto our children and grandchildren.

Beyond writing checks to established tzedakah organizations, having learned from my parents, I keep singles in my car—whenever given the opportunity, I’ll give a dollar to a roadside panhandler. He can use the money, and I can use the mitzvah.

(I learned from a tzadik that it’s not for me to decide how they will/should use the money.)

C. Singer
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