Saturday, September 20, 2008


I noticed him out of the corner of my eye. That familiar swagger and cool dark glasses. I instinctively tensed up as my hands wound my tefillin around its case.
I thought to myself...
There’s something very wrong with the system, when an able bodied male spends his days collecting money for himself.
Why don’t these people work??
Mexicans come here and work day and night.
Every other group comes here and works. So why is there a parade of very able collectors coming from Israel with their hands outstretched and a sense of entitelement?
My great grandfather came to the United States in the 1920s on business trips to be able to send back money to Poland. He would cringe at the sight of these collectors.
The closer he came the more nervous I got, the way he throws around wisecracks. If you’re going to collect for yourself at least have a humble air about you and a sense of gratitude, not entitlement.
His grating staccato was now one table away..Tzedaka Tzedaka....Tzedaka..the faint smell of cigarettes precursing his arrival, irritating me even more. Why do I have to give him a daily allowance?
Why do I have to fund his vices? His cool glasses and expensive habits...?
I kissed my Tefillin and placed it in the bag.
My hand reached into my pocket and pulled out a dollar. I found myself placing it in his warm hand..and nodding slightly.

Sometimes I’s our only chance...

K'Dalim U'CheRoshim Dofaknu Delosecho....