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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Dilemmas (and Guilt)

I have a neighbor (who, luckily, does not read blogs). Every few weeks I get a call from her.

"Laurie, I'm sorry to bother you. I've been having some troubles (here she describes her troubles) and I need to buy XYZ and I'm a little short....would you be able to loan me 50 shekels? I promise, I'll pay you back in a couple of days. I just went out without my bank card/the bank took my ATM/without any cash....

The first few times, I loaned her the money, and never received it in return, even when I emphasized that I really needed the money back.

After that, I just put it on my tzdekka bill. I keep a running tab for tzdekka so I just figured that it was tzdekka and left it at that.

My dilemma is, what do I do when she calls? Am I obligated to take the tzdekka from other projects that I want to support and give it to her every time she's in difficulty? OK, not obligated, but should I? She lives very simply, as far as I can see without any luxuries or even a bit of pampering, so she probably needs the money. But can I support one person to the tune of 50 shekels every week or so? If it's part of my tzdekka, should I give it to one person who asks (begs) for it, rather than to another organization that I want to support?

I hate feeling guilty at 10:25a.m.


1 comment:

mikimi said...

You could have in mid to begin with to give this person, but as to obligation - your money, your decision. Your family come first, then your neighborhood and then your city.
This us similar to the dilemma of feeling guilty in giving money to every beggar on the street or when visiting the Kotel.