Posts tagged " donations "

I’m being asked to contribute to ‘Black Lives Matter’

June 10th, 2020 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 52 comments

I have listened and read your postings for quite some time and I am extremely grateful to G-d for the wisdom. I volunteer at the [name of organization removed to protect the writer] and received a troubling communication about the [organization] supporting Black Lives Matter, and asking all employees and volunteers to participate.

This goes against what the [organization] is supposed to stand for. That group is racist and violent. My moral compass says that I need to distance myself from the [organization] because I will be like a salmon swimming upstream against the current leftist mob mentality there and in too many places. 

What is your take on this?


Dan C.

Dear Dan,

Your question, in one form or another, is one that many people are facing today.  Following ancient Jewish wisdom’s guidance on this, we believe that ideally, it is far too early to discuss these matters.  Emotions are running high and people are feeling pain.  And although everyone knows that facts stand irrespective of feelings, not everyone realizes with what finality feelings banish facts.  In other words, thoughts and ideas I might possibly embrace in a calm and contemplative mood I will likely angrily reject if they are placed before me at a time of emotional turmoil.

The problem is that we can’t easily postpone every analysis until a time when emotions have subsided.  Some matters demand a decision now.   A few days ago, I (Susan) received an email from a company whose products I very much appreciate. They proudly told me that they stand against racism and will be donating to Black Lives Matter. Rather than just deleting the email, I wrote back explaining that I appreciate their motives but that I wish they would re-examine their choice of where to donate as my research shows that Black Lives Matter increases hatred and violence rather than promoting humanitarian goals. I have no illusions that my email will change things, but I felt the responsibility not to stay quiet. If hundreds of other customers do the same, there actually might be an effect.

In that case, I was one of thousands of customers. However, we also know of an instance of a young man occupying a high-level executive position with a large company. He, too, received a letter asking all employees to contribute to Black Lives Matter. He chose to risk his position and relationships and call his superiors. He shared with them details as to why he opposed Black Lives Matter and would not be able to participate. Make no mistake that this was a courageous step on his part. Many others have lost their jobs for similar opinions.  What was the result? They thanked him for sharing information they did not have (because the media filters what we are allowed to know) and redirected their charity to another organization.

To show that you are not merely reacting emotionally, it might help if you can be specific with your organization about your concerns.  Among our concerns is that BLM actively opposes the traditional marriage and family model that was accepted by most Americans of all colors prior to the turbulent 60s. In their own words, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure…”  If there is anything that really does save lives, it is being born into and raised by a western-prescribed traditional nuclear family.

Another concern of ours is BLM’s position that racial discrimination they view as promoting ‘equality’ is good whereas discrimination contributing to inequity is racist.  But they see inequity as any difference in the average outcome of any group in any field of life or work.  We do not accept that scanty representation of Jews in the NFL is proof of discrimination against Jews in sports.  We do not accept that fewer than 50% of computer programmers being female is proof of discrimination. And we do not accept that a lack of a certain percentage of people with dark complexions in any field is automatically discrimination.  We feel sure that the country will suffer greatly by accepting the BLM notion that any racial difference in anything at all that doesn’t reflect the racial demographics of society is automatically racist. 

Your situation is that you are not one of thousands nor are you in an executive position. Rather than simply stopping to volunteer, we would recommend writing (and editing and rewriting and showing it to a friend and editing some more) a clear and thoughtful letter explaining that you value the organization and its work but worry that they are acting unwisely. Lay out factual points about Black Lives Matter and from those speaking on their behalf that lead you to see them as a movement propelling the country in the wrong direction.

Let the organization know that you share and appreciate their goal of increasing peace between people of all colors and backgrounds, but that you request that they be more careful in how they try to reach that goal.

Take it from there. If you are either ignored or rebuked, we do recommend that you take your time, effort and money and volunteer at another organization that has a firmer moral compass.

Right now emotions are pushing truth and logic out the door. Nonetheless, it is not the time for silence in the matter you raise.

With a mixture of fear and hope, along with our prayers,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

We can’t say it often enough.
We need to line up our values with God, not ask Him to change His values to ours.
Begin with studying His message to humanity. 


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Is it wrong for us to ask for help?

July 3rd, 2018 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 8 comments

I heard your podcast recently regarding the United Nations and how damaging it is to give money to poor nations without them earning it.  My wife and I are currently in the adoption process, and started an online funding page.  The adoption is very costly, so we know we needed help.

However, after hearing the before mentioned podcast, was it wrong for us to ask for donations?  Should we focus on earning the money needed for the adoption, and not ask for donations or gifts from other people?

Vinny P. 

Dear Vinny,

How wonderful to hear that you and your wife want to open your hearts and home to a child. And thank you for listening to my (RDL) podcast.

There is a world of difference between individuals asking for and receiving help and government bodies distributing money gathered involuntarily from taxpayers.  The United Nations, in a way that would horrify its early supporters who placed such faith in the body, has become a gargantuan behemoth that today frequently provides money that enriches cruel despots rather than helping those for whom it is intended. It has also become a dung heap of corruption and high-living by its bureaucrats. 

If people choose, of their own volition, to help you and your wife, they will usually do so because they know, trust and like the two of you. They will want to join you and share in the opportunity to participate in this exciting and beautiful endeavor. If, through the incredible reach of the internet, people who do not know you find your page they will hopefully do due diligence and convince themselves that you are for real and that your home will be a blessing to some child. The point is that you are giving people an opportunity which they are free either to seize or ignore.


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