Monday, 2 March 2015

Giving Matanot LaEvyonim - Monetary Gifts to the Poor on Purim. Who is to be Considered Poor?


On Purim - there is a Mitzvah to give financial charity to two POOR people. What is your definition of poor? Let me give you some examples - and you choose or add your own:

1. Someone wearing filthy garments, hasn't eaten all day (or for the past two days) looks in a shocking condition and is standing on the street corner begging for money? Is he poor and do you feel you'd give your charity to him on Purim?

2. Someone who wears clean garments, looks clean does not own a home of their own, but rents, who pays full taxes but has no money for food (practically speaking yes) cannot afford the enforced taxes and cannot afford his rent either. He will go years without buying much needed spectacles because he has no means to purchase them - and wouldn't tell anybody this either. Nobody would ever know except him. He does not own his own furniture or appliances. If a visit to his own shows that he does have old broken furniture - it may not even be his - but rather his landlord's! 

However, he regularly loans from the banks (having huge interest to pay off) and continues this way until he eventually gives in to life whether through becoming bankrupt or kills himself (G-d forbid.) Pretend you didn't know the last few lines and just read the first few points only. Would you consider him poor (i.e. without knowing what was about to happen to him in the near future?) Would you feel comfortable giving to him realising he may need something - or do you regard him as taken care of?

3. Someone who owns their own home but owes over one million shekels on it (simply because - yes - housing is this expensive in Israel) battles to pay his regular enforced taxes, does without food when necessary because he cannot afford it. Apparently the government and other financial lords feel that owning the home is sufficient food for being able to live. Incidentally he looks clean on the outside, and seems to appear to be healthy. Pretend you didn't know that he cannot afford food, clothing and other necessary items - because all you can see is the expensive home that he owns. Would you consider him poor?

4. Someone who owns their own home in full but has no money in his bank account at all. He struggles to meet his food bills, medical bills, insurance bills, car payments etc. He really cannot pay his day to day bills even though he owns the house. Look - telling the fellow to sell his home so that at least he will have cash available won't help because he believes he is entitled to it. Just that he cannot afford his daily bills. Is he to be considered poor?

5. Someone who owns their own home, married, kids, pays for the basics, but cannot afford proper education. He doesn't waste on holiday expenses etc., but there are things he feels important - you know - like education - and he cannot afford that. Is he to be considered poor?

Add your own definition.

Consider this now: Who do you give your "charity gifts to the poor" to. It's something to think about on an individual level and is completely irrelevant to have the need to tell anyone.

If you would like to give your Tzedaka this Purim to truly needy Jews in Israel who may well fit one of the first two categories - please make a donation immediately by clicking the donate button below. For more information about the activities of Chessed Ve'Emet, please see our main website www.lovingkindness.co and join us in learning the beautiful values of Torah and assisting those who truly need assistance.

Make your difference today - and save a life - or two!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Rare VIDEO Footage of the Chafetz Chaim - Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan


Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838-1933) known as the Chofetz Chaim - after the book he wrote dealing with the laws of derogatory and defamatory speech, is one of the most well known giants of Torah from the previous generation. His Mishna Berurah is by far one of the most popular Halachic works studied by those adhering to Torah law. We are really privileged to have this rare video footage (below) taken in 1923 at the first Knessia Gedolah. You will see him coming in at about 57 seconds and the video continues with him until about 1:11. Enjoy!




מיי ומי ההולכים בצילום הנ"ל: הג"ר אברהם צבי פרלמוטר אב"ד ורשא ונציג אגו"י בסיים 0:27 האדמו"ר ר' ישראל פרידמן מצ'ורטקוב 0:47 רשכבה"ג נשיא הדורות החפץ חיים זי"ע 0:57 מלווה בבנו מצד אחד ומצד שני נכדו הגר"א קפלן הי"ד 0:57 האדמו"ר מסוקולוב ר' יצחק זליג מורגנשטרן הי"ד 1:47 הג"ר אשר מיכאל [דר. ארתור] כהן אב"ד באזל 1:57 הג"ר יהודא ליב צירלסון אב"ד קישנב הי"ד 2:05 הג"ר אלנן וסרמן הי"ד 2:22 ר' אשר מנדלסון מראשי אגו"י בפולין ונציג בסיים 2:28 הג"ר פנחס דר. קאהן אב"ד אנסבך 2:56 הג"ר טוביה הורויץ אב"ד סנוק 3:02 מורנו רבי יעקב רוזנהיים נשיא אגו"י 3:16 הג"ר אליהו [דר. ליאו] יונג רב ג'ואיש סנטר ניו יורק 3:55 הג"ר מאיר דר. הילדסהיימר מברלין 3:16 הרב שפיצר נציג אגו"י מהונגריה 3:58 הג"ר יחזקאל סרנא אח"כ ראש ישיבת חברון 4:13 רבי משה בלוי מירושלים 4:28 הג"ר טוביה דר. לוונשטיין אב"ד ציריך 4:34


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Rabbi Moshe Calphon HaKohein - Shoel VeNishal


Rabbi Moshe Calphon HaKohein - known for the responsa he wrote entitled "Shoel VeNishal" an 8 volume collection of Halachic responsa of more than 3000 answers, was born on 12 Shevat 5634/1874 and departed this world on the 18 Tevet 5710/1950. He was the rabbi of the Island of Gerba and one of the giants in Torah of Tunisia in the previous generation. To date, some 44 books of his writings have been published, with many other works still in manuscript form.

Already from a young age his talents were recognised. He studied the laws of Shechita and Bedika (Shu"b) the laws for ritual slaughter and checking of the animal for signs indicating the animal may not be kosher - in the city of Zervis in Gerba, and received his ordination for Shechita from the rabbis in Gerba. At the tender age of 25, he was already asked to officiate on the Beit Din in Gebra - but he refused all offers - for reasons amongst others that he wanted to earn his Parnassah from the work of his own hands i.e. and not to receive his income from his Torah activities.

He was in the process of making Aliyah to come to live in the land of Israel when, during his activities to arrange for his papers, he died in Tunisia where he is buried. Later, in 2005 his bones were taken to be buried in the land of Israel - being buried on Har Hamenunchot next to Rabbi Masas, Rabbi of Jerusalem. He was eulogised by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who emphasized his particular strict observance and approach and direction in Halachic thinking in accordance with the laws as laid out by Rabbi Yosef Karo in his Shuchan Aruch.

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