Appeal to all good people who donate meals to people in need in Israel

Whenever you feed people, who could not feed themselves, please do not only shed tears on their bad fortunes.  Please do not stop at providing them with a meal.
Please ask them about the circumstances, which prevented them from being self-sufficient.

Then do something to ameliorate those circumstances.  Sometimes you can do a lot for the price of a single meal for a group of people.

I suspect that several responses will go along the following lines.

  • People past retirement age - why couldn’t they save in their retirement funds?  Probably they saved and lost the money to crooks or bad investments.
  • People with disabilities - what inaccessible places and circumstances prevented them from exercising their full earning potential?
  • Unemployed - probably need vocational training to train for an occupation with higher demand.  The expense consists of both tuition, free time for study, and stipend to live on while studying.

Some people will turn out to be lazy bums with feeble excuses - they should NOT be fed.

If you have a lot of money to donate, usually the best way to use it to help those non self-supporting people - is to make it easier for them to train for a better paying occupation.

RSS feed | Trackback URI


Comment by Leibovich
2009-12-21 11:50:44

What about the following real case I met about a month ago.

A son to 10 children family. The father is ill, and cannot work any more. The son is working at non-academic works (obviously, he can’t afford it, both in terms of time and money). His low wages doesn’t cover the costs of his family’s living, so he asks for charity at night, after work.

What about the other real case?

A grandmother of my friend is OLA from russia. She usually wash floors for living, but this is hardly enough, and I assume that in a few years she might not be able to work in such a highly physical job.

It’s easy to criticize poor people as “lazy bums” from the softness of your sofa, but reallity is alot more complciated.

BTW, ping to my mail when you reply, I’m not sure I’ll remember to recheck it.

Comment by Omer Zak
2009-12-22 05:49:04

If the son gets only food as charity, he has no chance to improve his lot in life.
He needs to get a stipend, which covers tuition, food and help for his family, so that he can concentrate upon his studies and have a well-paying occupation. The better occupation is not necessarily an academic one - as this depends also upon his academic abilities.

Essentially the same answer applies also to the grandmother.

Conclusion: what I said at the end of my original post - “make it easier for them to train for a better paying occupation” - applies to both real cases. Not providing them with enough money for this purpose is, in my eyes, real stinginess.

Comment by Leibovich
2009-12-22 08:11:57

While your reply might makes sense for the son case (although it requires a really great amount of resources, as you need both to take care of his family without his aid, an to cover his training costs, for very long period), it is really unrealistic for the second case. From my short experience, it is very rare for employers to accept a men of in his forty, I find it hard to believe she’ll be able to find a well paying job in this age (say, 70 my friend is ~25 and it’s his grandmother).

Except of that, you should think about it as a society. There’s a need for hardly-paying job in the market. If you allow such low paying jobs, then someone will *always* have a problem. Do you think we should raise the minimal wages? Do you think that in most family, either the husband or the spouse should work in a well-paying job?

(Thanks for pinging me BTW, your blog didn’t do that. There are WP add-ons that supports reply notifications by email I think see for what Shachar uses, there’s a list in a sidebar. It’s

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> in your comment.