I once wrote an article claiming that my mother could make the ocean feel guilty for not coming to shore fast enough. Let's just say that that article (and most likely this one) provided me with a "Colorful" response from my mother. I know that I am not the only Jewish son who has felt the yoke of parental guilt, but as I matured, my perception of this behavior evolved. I began realize that what my parents were really doing was setting expectations. They were establishing parameters for how I should behave and carry myself. In the end, they were not wrong; I should call my parents more often, I should eat my vegetables, and I should be more responsible for my actions. These lessons, enveloped in guilt, transcended nearly every subject, except Tzedakah.
Tzedakah in my house was not to be viewed through the lens of guilt, but of pride. My brothers and I were taught to be proud of helping others, to be proud of doing our part for our community, and to be proud of volunteering. The theme of helping my community and those in need was so prevalent that I chose to make it my career. Throughout my career in Jewish community service, I have attempted to offer others the opportunity to give Tzedakah and help our local and global Jewish community. The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas Annual Campaign - The Campaign for Jewish Needs, has been the best place to meet this goal.
Making a gift to The Campaign for Jewish Needs should be about pride, not about guilt. Tzedakah is not taxation - and should never be presented as such. The Book of Deuteronomy says, “If there is a needy person among you don’t harden your heart, don’t shut your hand against your needy kin. For there will never cease to be people with need in your land which is why I command you to open your heart to the poor and to the needy kin in your land.”
This is why the Jewish Federation Campaign for Jewish Needs is essential to our community. There will always be people in need among us, we will always have kin - members of the Jewish community - who are in need. We are not permitted to "Harden our hearts" and to ignore these people. The Jewish Federation ensures that we are not hardening our hearts to Jews in need throughout Nevada, North America, Israel and in 60 countries around the world.
So, I am proud to offer you the opportunity to make a gift to the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas Annual Campaign - The Campaign for Jewish Needs. Simply click here to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzedakah. Do not harden your heart to those in need and help your kin around the corner and around the world. Also, it wouldn't kill you to eat more vegetables, and call your parents…they probably haven't eaten as they don't want their mouths to be full should you call.
As always, I welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.