Saturday, September 11, 2004

Messages from God

I don't think everything just happens. I always have believed everything happens for a reason, although the reason may not be always apparent. Living in Jerusalem makes this kind of thinking come to life for me. Like seeing it in vivid color rather than in faded colors. I passed by Breslov Hassidim on the street the other day. "Righteous woman" - he called me, as he stood in front of me to block my path. I felt like telling him "You got the wrong woman, mister!" but decided to hear him out. He was collecting money for his sect, and for just $8 per month, someone will pray for me for 40 days or something to that effect - at their Hassidic leader's gravesite in Uman in the Ukraine and at the Western Wall. I told him I couldn't add more stress to my already overburdened checking account. He asked me "Do you tithe? Do you take 10% of your income and give to charity." I thought about it on the bus back home. I discussed it with Hubby. It hasn't left my mind since. I used to give 10% of my income to charity, but haven't in years. Maybe I don't have to give to his organization, but I remember what it was like for me during Passover 2001 when I was laid off my high tech job, after thinking I was going to be nearly a millionaire because of all the shares I had with the company. And then they went bust. I had no salary for 2 months and unemployment did not kick in until 2 months later. Hubby was unemployed too. I had no money to feed my family and accepted charitable donations from friends who could barely afford to give charity. I knew where the food banks were in my neighborhood and in Jerusalem, where I never went hungry because of them. It's hard to give away hard-earned money. It's so much more fun to spend on yourself - nicer pots and pans, new couch covers, curtains for the livingroom. Especially so when the government is always running after you to get more and more of anything you earn. But I should really remember those difficult times for us especially before the Jewish New Year and should plan to give something to those organizations that kept our family alive 3 years ago. For people who will find it difficult to feed their families this year. I really think this was a message from God to me.

7 comments:

Musophrenia said...

paying someone to pray for you??!!! dont sound right to me...

Anonymous said...

Have to agree that paying for prayers is not right. But giving is! We are being challenged to find more ways to cut back so we can give more too. Trying to get out of debt, trying to dejunk and live a more simple life. The things that matter most are faith, family and friends...don't you agree? But so easy to get caught up in the buying this and that trap, even in small ways. I feel for you....sounds like you live in one of the most expensive areas on earth, is that correct? Tain't cheap here but I think you have it worse.
Elizabeth

kanenabe said...

If you think paying for someone to pray for you sounds nutz, well, some "religious groups" actually tell their "faithful" that giving money to the "group organization" ensures blessings from the deity/god/whatever... *rolls eyes* and the best part is, people actually DO believe them!!! And they GIVE... tonnes of cash!

Rise said...

It seems to me that it isn't even about paying someone to pray for you. Or at least it shouldn't be. It SHOULD be about giving. It's like when I see the man on the corner, selling flyers. If I have some money that I can spare, I give it to him. Not to get the magazine, not because I want to keep up with the news of the underground, but because I want to give him the chance to buy himself a cup of coffee or the opportunity to go and buy that blanket he's been saving for. "Give us money and we'll pray for you." What they're really asking is look beyond the perk, it's just what we use to bring you in, but it's not what we want you to focus on. It's about giving. Not what you receive.

Anonymous said...

Hi ,
i know its kinda irrelevant but its regarding life & death so y not...

http://us.f519.mail.yahoo.com/ym/ShowLetter/info_1.jpg?viewimg=1&box=Inbox&MsgId=2070_2448217_16991_1931_282532_0_15025_383827_500443691&bodyPart=3&filename=info_1.jpg&tnef=&YY=64419&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b

Anonymous said...

I am writing from Iceland. Here it is a christian TV station who is collecting a LOT of money so they can broadcast the holy christian word to Jerusalem so you can forward it by satulite from Jerusalem to Asia and Africa, from Iceland!! I can not understand it because I thought that maybe so many others have already sent the holy word to Asia and Africa and they are asking people to give a LOT of money because of this!! And here in Iceland we also have so many others who are speaking the holy christian word and they also are asking for money .... SO THE PASTORS CAN TRAVEL to another countries!!! I don´t like this!! Can you tell me your appinion please??

Matthildur

jerusalemgypsy said...

Hello reader from Iceland. It is strange isn't it? It's like the guy who used to come to my door in Canada asking for money to marry off his kids and buy them an apartment. He would travel from Israel to collect the money. I would tell them I couldn't afford to fly to Israel so the fact that he's able to fly from Israel to the US/Canada proves he's in much better shape. Plus I was a renter and didn't own (still don't) our apartment. So this was not a good reason to give charity. But some do think if a person asks - it's reason enough to give.