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Author Topic: Tithing  (Read 1729 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« on: September 22, 2008, 02:37:38 PM »

Woof All:

Tithing is an important part of Life.  This thread is for sharing good ideas for tithing.  (In a closely related vein, please see the "Help our Troops"   http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=329.0  )  As I have posted previously on this forum, amongst the recipients of tithing by our family is Michael Yon, whose reader supported reporting in Iraq and now Afghanistan does so much to get the Truth out.

In this post, I begin with this email sent to me by my wife, which both supports the Cub Scouts AND our troops while scoring you some good popcorn:

BEGIN

We could help out our Cub Scout pack greatly if we did fundraising for it via the popcorn sales.  And, if we have folks use a certain code (TENXVBF)  Conrad
can get credit for it and even earn a week camping trip. Maybe you could do some marketing via your forums?  The fundraising ends mid-October.

There is even something they can click on that will send popcorn/trail mix they order to our troops.

Here is what they'd have to do:

1) Log on to :  http://www.orderpopcorn.com/Store/Catalog/Affiliate/AffiliateLandingView.aspx?AffiliateCode=TENXVBF
2) Then they will see when they are logged in to give credit to Conrad D.
3) Then they can click on Support Our Troops Buy Now link and send popcorn
to the troops.
        They can also order popcorn and have it sent to themselves.
        (They should use the red links at the top for themselves.
        Otherwise it will send them to the link that tries to get them
        to order a case of the tins.)

END

Thanking you for your consideration,
Marc/CD
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 12:38:01 PM by pretty_kitty » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 03:55:58 AM »

No one? cry
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rachelg
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 11:40:54 AM »

We support a lot  of different charities-- I prefer to give relatively a little to a lot of  places than  a lot to one  charity..  My synagogue get the bulk of my charitable dollars

Most of the charities I support are either local or Jewish both 

Kiva is one of the few exceptions to that rule
http://www.kiva.org/

Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

You get you money back monthly so  you can re loan it or donate it to Kiva immediately. I  have never had a default apparently the default rate is a under 3 percent and I really enjoy being a  small part of businesses all over the world.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 10:39:24 AM »

Bleeding Heart Tightwads
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: December 20, 2008
NYT

This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.

The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans — the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.

“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”

Something similar is true internationally. European countries seem to show more compassion than America in providing safety nets for the poor, and they give far more humanitarian foreign aid per capita than the United States does. But as individuals, Europeans are far less charitable than Americans.

Americans give sums to charity equivalent to 1.67 percent of G.N.P., according to a terrific new book, “Philanthrocapitalism,” by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green. The British are second, with 0.73 percent, while the stingiest people on the list are the French, at 0.14 percent.

(Looking away from politics, there’s evidence that one of the most generous groups in America is gays. Researchers believe that is because they are less likely to have rapacious heirs pushing to keep wealth in the family.)

When liberals see the data on giving, they tend to protest that conservatives look good only because they shower dollars on churches — that a fair amount of that money isn’t helping the poor, but simply constructing lavish spires.

It’s true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives. Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

According to Google’s figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes.

In any case, if conservative donations often end up building extravagant churches, liberal donations frequently sustain art museums, symphonies, schools and universities that cater to the well-off. (It’s great to support the arts and education, but they’re not the same as charity for the needy. And some research suggests that donations to education actually increase inequality because they go mostly to elite institutions attended by the wealthy.)

Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.

So, you’ve guessed it! This column is a transparent attempt this holiday season to shame liberals into being more charitable. Since I often scold Republicans for being callous in their policies toward the needy, it seems only fair to reproach Democrats for being cheap in their private donations. What I want for Christmas is a healthy competition between left and right to see who actually does more for the neediest.

Of course, given the economic pinch these days, charity isn’t on the top of anyone’s agenda. Yet the financial ability to contribute to charity, and the willingness to do so, are strikingly unrelated. Amazingly, the working poor, who have the least resources, somehow manage to be more generous as a percentage of income than the middle class.

So, even in tough times, there are ways to help. Come on liberals, redeem yourselves, and put your wallets where your hearts are.
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rachelg
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 02:22:32 PM »

The non-profit I used to work for raised a lot of money from Evangelical Christians and they were very inspiring and humbling in their giving.  I used to get regular calls from people who were living on like  $800 dollars a month from Social Security and were giving us $50 a month.  Also people who would give donations to charity instead of any birthday or holiday presents.   However it isn't really a Liberal vs Conservative divide it is a secular vs religious divide .   The article stated secular liberals gave more than secular conservatives.   

However if the article makes more liberals  give to charities that is great. 

http://www.jewfaq.org/tzedakah.htm
 Tzedakah: Charity

Level: Intermediate
   Tzedakah (in Hebrew)

Once in a comedy message board, we were listing oxymorons like "jumbo shrimp," "military intelligence" and "athletic scholarship." Somebody posted "Jewish charity" on the list. Normally, I have a pretty good sense of humor when it comes to jokes about cheap Jews, but that one bothered me, because charity is a fundamental part of the Jewish way of life.

Traditional Jews give at least ten percent of their income to charity. Traditional Jewish homes commonly have a pushke, a box for collecting coins for the poor, and coins are routinely placed in the box. Jewish youths are continually going from door to door collecting for various worthy causes. A standard mourner's prayer includes a statement that the mourner will make a donation to charity in memory of the deceased. In many ways, charitable donation has taken the place of animal sacrifice in Jewish life: giving to charity is an almost instinctive Jewish response to express thanks to G-d, to ask forgiveness from G-d, or to request a favor from G-d. According to Jewish tradition, the spiritual benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar actually does the giver a favor by giving a person the opportunity to perform tzedakah.

Business Week's 2006 list of The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists includes at least 15 Jews. In other words, Jews, who are only about 2% of the American population, are 30% of America's most generous donors. Similarly, a 2003 study (reported in the Jewish Journal) found that 24.5% of all "mega-donors" (people who donate more than $10 million a year to charity) are Jewish. Nor is Jewish generosity limited to Jewish causes: while a few of the Jews in BW's "Top 50" list Jewish causes among their primary charitable targets, most don't. Indeed, the Jewish Journal article laments the fact that the overwhelming majority of those Jewish mega-donations aren't going to specifically Jewish causes.
The Meaning of the Word "Tzedakah"

"Tzedakah" is the Hebrew word for the acts that we call "charity" in English: giving aid, assistance and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy causes. However, the nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity. The word "charity" suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy. The word "tzedakah" is derived from the Hebrew root Tzadei-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice or fairness. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.
The Obligation of Tzedakah

Giving to the poor is an obligation in Judaism, a duty that cannot be forsaken even by those who are themselves in need. Some sages have said that tzedakah is the highest of all commandments, equal to all of them combined, and that a person who does not perform tzedakah is equivalent to an idol worshipper. This is probably hyperbole, but it illustrates the importance of tzedakah in Jewish thought. Tzedakah is one of the three acts that gain us forgiveness from our sins. The High Holiday liturgy repeatedly states that G-d has inscribed a judgment against all who have sinned, but teshuvah (repentance), tefilah (prayer) and tzedakah can alleviate the decree. See Days of Awe.

According to Jewish law, we are required to give one-tenth of our income to the poor. This is generally interpreted as one-tenth of our net income after payment of taxes. Taxes themselves do not fulfill our obligation to give tzedakah, even though a significant portion of tax revenues in America and many other countries are used to provide for the poor and needy. Those who are dependent on public assistance or living on the edge of subsistence may give less, but must still give to the extent they are able; however, no person should give so much that he would become a public burden.

The obligation to perform tzedakah can be fulfilled by giving money to the poor, to health care institutions, to synagogues or to educational institutions. It can also be fulfilled by supporting your children beyond the age when you are legally required to, or supporting your parents in their old age. The obligation includes giving to both Jews and gentiles; contrary to popular belief, Jews do not just "take care of our own." Quite the contrary, a study reported in the Jewish Journal indicated that Jewish "mega-donors" (who give more than $10 million a year to charity) found that only 6% of their mega-dollars went to specifically Jewish causes.

Judaism acknowledges that many people who ask for charity have no genuine need. In fact, the Talmud suggests that this is a good thing: if all people who asked for charity were in genuine need, we would be subject to punishment (from G-d) for refusing anyone who asked. The existence of frauds diminishes our liability for failing to give to all who ask, because we have some legitimate basis for doubting the beggar's sincerity. It is permissible to investigate the legitimacy of a charity before donating to it.

We have an obligation to avoid becoming in need of tzedakah. A person should take any work that is available, even if he thinks it is beneath his dignity, to avoid becoming a public charge.

However, if a person is truly in need and has no way to obtain money on his own he should not feel embarrassed to accept tzedakah. No person should feel too proud to take money from others. In fact, it is considered a transgression to refuse tzedakah. One source says that to make yourself suffer by refusing to accept tzedakah is equivalent to shedding your own blood.
Levels of Tzedakah

Certain kinds of tzedakah are considered more meritorious than others. The Talmud describes these different levels of tzedakah, and Rambam organized them into a list. The levels of charity, from the least meritorious to the most meritorious, are:

   1. Giving begrudgingly
   2. Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
   3. Giving after being asked
   4. Giving before being asked
   5. Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity
   6. Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity
   7. Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
   8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant
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