Thursday, September 20, 2007

Save This!

Question: What can you do in ten minutes to have the biggest impact on your Yom Kippur tomorrow?

A. Examine your past and take responsibility for your mistakes
B. Introspect and/or pray
C. Give tzedaka
E. All of the above
F. None of the above

It seems to me that a lot of people are pretty good at #1 and #2 but we are collectively falling short on #3. This past year you were given 10 percent more net income than you need for yourself in order to enable you to give to others. Have you given them their due or are you spending it on yourself?

If you have ten minutes, please try these three steps to a home-run Yom Kippur.

1. Watch this short clip:

2. Ponder these stats:

Some 1.6 million Israelis lived under the poverty line in 2006, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Insurance Institute...the percentage of children who suffered from poverty rose from 35.2% to 35.8%...According to the report, an estimated 404,000 families - 1.65 million people and 796,000 children - lived under the poverty line.
-- THE JERUSALEM POST Sep. 4, 2007

3. Give generously:

There are many good organizations helping the poor. I have chosen a couple to promote that do not carry any overhead. They are run by volunteers and every penny you give goes to the needy. Remember that for Israeli children and families, Sukkot (next week) is analagous to Thanksgiving-Xmas here: it’s a festive time and those in poverty can feel particularly left out.

Meir Panim
1-877-7-DONATE (1-877-736-6283)

TorahLab Tzedaka Fund

Keren Y+Y
Checks: Keren Y&Y, 805-A Roosevelt Ct., Far Rockaway, NY 11691

From their website:
Small family - $180, Medium family - $360, Large family - $ 540
6 small families - $ 1080, 4 medium families - $ 1440
5 medium families - $ 1800, 4 large families - $ 2160.
Any amount will help.
What We Do:
* To each family we give cash coupons that are redeemable at one of 2 large full-service supermarkets.
* They can use these coupons to buy food and other such items only from these stores.
* The stores give us a discount of 7 1/2% to 10%, therefore making the donor's dollar that much more helpful.
* The stores will not give change, only credit for another purchase.
Checks and Balances
* Each Coupon has a serial number and expiration date.
* After the expiration date, we collect and collate all coupons according to serial number to check if the coupons were redeemed. If not then we contact that family to find out the reason.
Key Points
* We offer the coupons only to those in grave need.
* Coupons can only be used at these stores, and are non-transferable.
* Coupons can not be exchanged for cash- to make sure they're used the right way.
* Nobody knocks on our door. The Individuals responsible for determining who will receive assistance - and how much assistance - are kept anonymous. In other words, the families do not come to us- we go to them.
* Collectively the 3 Rabbis on the board know most of the families personally, and the ones we don't know, we inquire about.

+ + +

After you do this, you will be almost ready for Yom Kippur. Make a big festive meal Friday afternoon, eat the kinds of foods that make it easy to fast – not too spicy, no alcohol. You will be hungry for most of Saturday, but then by about 5:00 Saturday afternoon, you’ll get beyond the hunger – you will transcend the hunger, and thereby transcend your body. That’s when you’ll be ready to really connect to #1 and #2 on the list above.

Please save this info for future reference.

Wishing you and yours a gut yontiv.

Einstein quote of the week:
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

Speaking schedule:
September 20 – Beverly Hills, private home (“The Happiest Yom Kippur of Your Life”, with Helkeinu)
September 21-22 – Yom Kippur – The Helkeinu program • I will be running workshops throughout the day
September 27-Oct 4 – Sukkot – if you are in town, please join us in our Sukka. Good time guaranteed.
October 15 – Burlingame, Calif., Peninsula Temple Sholom, “The Art of Amazement”
October 16 – Mill Valley
October 17-18 – Los Angeles

(For details, send an email)

Yiddish of the week:

Gut yontiv – Happy Holiday (chag sameach)

Yiddish review - how many do you know?
anee — poor person
koptsen — panhandler
ballaboss — homeowner; layman
nu — various meanings (see archives)
mishpocha — family
mameh — mother
tateh — father
mazal – (MAH-z’l) luck or fortune, as in, “It was good mazal that....”
beshert – (b’shairt) - meant to be, as in “It was beshert that...”
mine eltern – my parents
mine lair-er – my teacher
hamantashen – Haman-pockets
zeigezunt – all the best (said upon parting)
kesher - connection
Ikh volt veln a kave, zayt azoy gut. - I'd like a coffee, please.
...kave mit shmant. – ...a coffee with cream.
...kave mit milkh. – ...a coffee with milk.
...kave mit tsuker. - ...a coffee with sugar.
Di Fir Kashes - The Four Questions
Oy vey! - Good grief!
mensch — a decent person
rachmanos — mercy
neshoma (neh-SHOH-ma) — soul
minig — custom, as in, "Why do you do that?" "It's my minig!"
Gavaltig — wonderful
Oy gavalt — how wonderful (sarcastic)
Azoy gait es! — That’s how it goes!
Shabbos — Cessation; stopping; day of stopping; weekly sabbatical experience
"Gut Shabbos" — "Enjoy your weekly sabbatical experience"
Neshoma — Soul
meshugass — insanity
meshuganeh — insane
kyna hara — no evil eye
shvitz — sweat
shanda — shame
Lechayim! — Cheers!
Pinteleh Yid — the Jewish feeling in the heart of every Jew
Zreezus — zeal
Mkohm — place (pl. mkohmas)
mamalashen — mother tongue
bentch — make a bracha
bashert – meant to be, pre-destined, as in, “He’s my bashert” or “It was bashert that...”
kvetch — complain
kvell — burst with pride
hishtadlus — effort, due diligence; as in, “Do your hishtadlus and let Hashem worry about it.”
Yiddishe kopf — Jewish knowledge and perspective (lit., Jewish head)
Gut yahr! – Happy New Year!

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