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Jimmy Carter’s Al Het

January 26, 2010

SHABBAT SERMON – January 23, 2010

A lot of things took place while I was away that are worthy of discussion; important things like the two earthquakes: last week’s in Haiti, and this week’s in Massachusetts. But that will wait until next week. Today I want to discuss an issue that came up when going through my mail and I am going to let you help me decide. We all have choices to make every day of our lives. One of those choices is: who should we give money to … what organizations are worthy of our support?I know that because I am a rabbi, I am on more of these mailing lists than others but all of you get requests to support one organization or another, one cause or another. And we want to help, but it’s really impossible to help them all. It used to be that mail requests came twice a year; once for the March of Dimes to fight polio and the other for Easter Seals to fight tuberculosis. Now those two ailments are basically under control, but now there is hardly a day that one doesn’t get requests from organizations working on our kidneys, our colons, our livers, our blood, our bones and parts of our bodies we didn’t even know we had! Now they come from organizations from Save the World to Save the Whales, from liberals and conservatives … and then there is the onslaught of the Jewish organizations – those fighting anti-Semitism, those fighting ignorance. It is hard to know who to support and who to help. So I have certain guidelines that I follow. First I look at whom the envelope is addressed to. If I get it here at the synagogue and the request is addressed to Rabbi Rosenblatt, I generally don’t respond. I also don’t respond to solicitation on behalf of animals … that’s just not my thing! If it is an organization I never heard of, I usually keep it that way! But while I was away, I got this envelope and I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I decided that I would ask you. It is a request from Jimmy Carter for the Jimmy Carter Center. Should I write them a check, or not?
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