These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Self / Soul & Text] The Practices of Giving & Openness

Posted on April 3, 2012 by David Bogomolny

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I picked an amount of money to donate that was more than I felt comfortable donating, and I took the cash from the money that I’d put aside to pay for my Poland trip. I have enough funds available to me to cover my upcoming Poland adventure, but when I first decided to donate X amount to charity, I felt uncomfortable with it because I’m generally concerned about having left my job last year to study at Pardes… money is a real concern of mine because I will probably be in school for the next six to seven years.

That said, I quickly came to terms with making my donation, and I generally feel good about having done this mitzvah. I appreciate that James encouraged me to part with some of my money and consider my relative wealth. Interestingly, I’ve gradually been coming to terms with the major life-changing decision that I made by coming to Pardes, and making this donation ultimately came to feel like a minor challenge, compared to the upcoming six to seven years of my life and beyond.

As for saying ‘yes’ to others, I accidentally said ‘no’ to somebody almost immediately after we left class last Wednesday. At Ma’ariv davening during Night Seder, the Sh”Tz asked to use my siddur, which I’d taken out of my locker to use, and I instinctively said ‘no’, although I immediately realized my mistake. That mistake heightened my awareness of my responses to others, but the remaining days of ‘yes’ were fairly uneventful… nobody asked anything of me during that time that I would have refused hir otherwise.