This week's Parsha RE-EH, is another one that sets out the blessings and curses for the COI. But what is really significant is that it also gives instructions on how to donate. Why are the two related?
This week I've seen so many people give a portion of their hard earned money to the ALS research foundation. Either spreading the word thru the ice bucket challenge or just by writing a check, (is ice water THAT bad??) so many people have found it cool to give. They do it because it is not only a great thing to give, it has become a viral fad that's trendy. It's not required... It's just good to be a part of.
The link seems pretty strong to ReEh if you think for a bit on what's going on with the C-O-I. It is one thing to be given a set of rules that you are expected to follow and reap rewards or suffer consequences. But to know beyond those things, you are required to give of yourself and your property is something else.
Often when we get allowance, a paycheck, or even a gift we see it as MONEY FOR ME. In Reeh, we are required to give our first fruits and produce to HaShem. It both helps us know we have to thank Hashem with a donation for being the ultimate source of what we have. But it's good to remember, beyond rules and laws, when we donate we are serving G-d, too. Community. Spirit. Worship. CHECK!
So, must we really dedicate 1/10th of everything we make for charity? Maybe yes, maybe no. According to the strictest rules, YES. But everything is ,pre complicated and fluid these days. Does it need to be just $100 to ALS?Ultimately we give what feels like giving. As a child maybe $100 is way too much to donate. But maybe it's too little for others. Maybe dedication to a cause is all the donation you can afford. Whatever it is, as we recognize ur blessings, we have to remember it is not only sometimes trendy, in Judaism it's an obligation to give.