Director Dr. Itamar Raz. M.D.
Medical Doctor, 100 Shaarim, Yerushalaim, Israel
Evolution & Aims:
Based on the teachings of our sages, that charity literally gives life to a person, this organization is a non-profit foundation which collects moneys for the fulfillment of health needs of those patients of mine who cannot afford treatments and those treatments are not available on government funding.
Moneys are also redirected into acts of kindness that may not be related to patients’ physical health yet contribute largely to emotional and mental health, such as the giving of presents for birthdays of the destitute and other such random acts of kindness.
The evolution of this project has been steadily increasing in momentum for the past several years. Recently the project has ripened in its many facets and is ready for launching. There are several patients on my list which must receive urgent help for the maintenance of their physical health.
Such health related examples include:
- Medicines for chronic or acute conditions such as high blood pressure, and Diabetes, which have high cost medicines that are recommended by the experts and are not covered by insurance! My heart goes out to them! They have very high and dangerous sugar levels and stay on the simple non effective medicines just because they can't afford the good stuff!It’s sad and this was one of the reasons the fund was established! We are proud that we have helped several patients reach a reasonable control level with the donations and this is thanks to our donors, whose merit will stand for ever for helping these sick and needy people to prevent further complications of the illnesses!
Visits to therapists that are not covered by government funding and for those who are uninsured):
- Psychological: Some patients were recommended psychological treatment by psychiatrists and could not afford it. They were lost and in a very bad mental state, and with the help of the fund we have seen great results in adolescents that have improved their life greatly by taking concentration or behavior or mental state medications that are not covered! This has changed their lives!
- Chiropractic, Chinese Medicine
- Essential Emergency Dental work
Needs and Accessories:
- Glasses for those who have no insurance nor government funding.
DEVICES: Nebulizers, Oxygen machines etc.
- Back and other joints support.
- Assistance with purchasing Tefillin, Talis & Mezuzas and for those who cannot afford them.
IT IS MY DUTY TO ENSURE THAT ALL MONEYS ARE SPENT WISELY AND PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO THE MOST URGENT MATTERS
67% OF ALL MONEYS DONATED ARE FORWARDED DIRECTLY TO THE PURCHASING OF THESE ESSENTIAL ITEMS. 33% IS PAID TO COLLECTORS.
THOSE DONATING WILL HAVE CHOICE TO WHICH CAUSE THEIR MONEY GOES.
- WE STAY OUT OF POLITICS!!!
- To comply with ALL HALACHAS, ESPECIALLY BUSINESS ONES EVEN THE ONES NOT REGULARLY IN USE.
Complying with the Holistic Entrepreneurial Philosophy as below:
strictly adhere to the
Holistic Entrepreneurial Philosophy. This,
in addition to the above Halachic requirements, involves weighing the
benefit vs harm of each aspect of the enterprise. Only actions which
believe to be benefiting the greater community and the world will be
Some examples of this principle will be:
- Ensuring the highest quality products for patients.
- Having fair dealings with all parties.
- Minimizing the impact on the environment using as little resources as possible to propagate our organisation, and encouraging our affiliated organisations and businesses to do likewise. For example:
- Using recycled materials when possible.
- Recycling products ourselves.
- Using already established transporters and gaps in the industry rather than having our own vehicles.
- Researching the ethics of the organisations and companies with which we deal.
Ensuring the highest moral code and continually evaluating our honesty, trust and best intentions towards our customers, employees and in any dealings we engage with Jewish & Non Jewish enterprises. Training our Staff in issues of Kiddush Hashem when dealing with customers. (E.g. Polite, subtle and helpful in all dealings…case scenarios and seminars…)
ENVIRONMENT – STAFF:
- To create a workplace environment which:
- Is full of love, where employees can grow, learn and develop bonds amongst themselves whatever their positions in the enterprise.
- Is as stress free as possible. Approachability of managers to answer any question from employees and to help with any issue an employee would be dealing with.
- Encourages working as a team, with requests not orders amongst staff at all levels, where there is no actual hierarchy but a network where all staff are an integral part of the enterprise which emanates from a source (HASHEM YITBARACH) and flows through the senior staff to be infused into all staff.
- Eventually, there will, with Hashem’s Will, be a person (probably a social worker or a team of them) specifically employed for staff care, not only to help with problems, but with general regular sessions of psychology and help in any way. Also a questionnaire will help us know about staff characters to be able to supply the appropriate individualized gifts depending on their interests and needs for their Yom Huledet and Yom Tovs!!! כן יהי רצון
- Provide regular Quality Control questionnaires to staff and customers to facilitate moral growth and fairness in the enterprise.
Charity is Life will, Be-ezrat Hashem, be looking to expand into the following areas:
- Kiruv Projects - As an observant Jew who has come from a secular background I believe I possess the tools to understanding the psyche of the secular community and can tailor Kiruv ideas to their understanding and Yiddishkite development. Amen.
- Chessed Projects (Donation to Learning centers, food, hospitals etc. worldwide and especially in Eretz Yisrael)
- Research Projects
- Health Retreats for the sick (also to be in exchange for voluntary donations)
- Health product development and promotion with all proceeds going to our charity fund.
CROSS VENTURE ADVERTISING:
- Magazines, papers, websites, schools and synagogues - The board of communications will write articles to be included in papers, magazines, Synagogue newsletter etc. in return for advertising space:
- Jewish News worldwide
- ALL JEWISH MAGAZINES AND PAPERS (even cooking!!!)
- Jewish Websites
- Liaising with Medical Practitioners. As part of our promotional campaign, we will write to doctors of all fields, and other health practitioners, urging them to help us spread the message of Charity is Life.
- Posters will be placed in schools, synagogues, community centers, children’s activity centers. A worldwide telephone number and website shall be set up.
– MY Role & current situation:
- Mashgiach – Ensure that all above requests namely the moral and ethical codes of Charity is Life are put into place without compromise.
- Communication with the various facets of this organisation and external parties.
- The recruitment of worldwide staff and agents for this foundation.
- Other consultancy necessary.
Will the Money Come From?
Giving charity is known to effect character change and health of mind body and soul. By the giving of charity the heart is opened to receive Divine Light and wisdom, and be filled with thankfulness, kindness & love. As Rabbi Nachman explains, the greed of money melts by the act of charity. This greed for money is likened to idol worship (as can be seen by the statement - In "G-d" We Trust, on the American dollar – in the "G-d" of money - the idol that people worship over values of family love, charity and social and physical health). So Rabbi Nachman explains to us that the actual giving of charity is the hammer that shatters this idol with our hearts, and we must break the viscous cycle of miserliness that prevents us giving to others while destroying our heart and soul.
The great sage 'Ha'admor Hazaken' (Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Leidi) explains in his masterpiece the holy 'Tanya' that giving charity draws divine light which clothes the bodily soul and penetrates the body to cause healing and purification. The organs involved in giving the charity, receive the light (the hand that gives and the feet that walk to the beggar), and even greater than this, all the organs that were used to work to make the money that is given to charity also receive light, for they too are involved in the giving. This is great Divine wisdom that were revealed to us, in order that we know how important this Mitzva is. We are advised to never turn away a begging hand (if we can afford to) and it is known:
"The house that is closed to the begger is open to the doctor."
Of course it is stated by the righteous King Shlomo (solomon) the wisest of all men (Proverbs - משלי):
צדקה תציל ממוות
Charity will save from death.
Of course this is also referring to spiritual death, for miserliness and greed is the greatest spiritual cholesterol and is more dangerous for the heart than any food or cigarettes. On the contrary - charity, giving with a whole heart is a great healing practice, more so than many forms of 'health programs.'
And further Shlomo Hamelech tells us (Proverbs 19 - משלי יט):
מלוה ה' חונן דל וגמלו ישלם לו
He who loans to Hashem (to Hashem's creations), that he gives to the destitute, he will be re-compensated [back for his charity].
Rashi, the holy commentator of the ancient texts explains there a very vital explanation: "When he who gave charity will be sick and will be close to death, his charity (that he did with the poor) will come and testify i front of the (Heavenly) judgement and says 'the soul of the destitute was suffering and about to leave him due to his hunger, and this person sustained it (with his charity) and returned it (the destitute's soul) to its body, so will I (says his charity) – so will I return his soul to him!” to the person who is his death bed! Amazing!
And Mishlei also explains to us:
בחסד ואמת יכופר עון
With kindness and truth sin shall be atoned.
So after we explained the correlation between suffering and sin, we can see how charity saves from death and relieves suffering, in its atonement for sin. Atonement for sin leads to removal of suffering.
Now let us explore the meaning of the word 'Tzeddaka'. Tzeddaka is the Hebrew word for charity. However the word Tzeddaka means more than just giving to the needy. The word Tzeddaka stems from the word 'Tzeddek.' the word 'Tzeddek' means justice, or righteousness. From this we know that the act of giving to the poor is an essential part of the path to becoming righteous. The aspect of justice that is involved in the process of giving charity must be clearly explained. In Jewish law we are commanded, to do justice in the world, by giving a tenth (10%) of our earnings to charity (after tax) and up to 20% (if one can afford it). This is to do justice. We are the channels chosen for this abundance to come to the world in order to give it to those who need it. We are chosen to have the merit to bestow 'chessed' (kindness) on others. Kabballa explains that Divine light is clothed in the form of chessed- kindness- and the money is a physical manifestation of this Divine kindness. We are therefore channels for divine light, which flows through us and to those who need it- through the medium of the money. In this we are healing ourselves by having this divine light flow through us (in the form of money) and this causes healing of body mind and soul. For this reason we received it! Because we need the healing and Hashem has given us the method by which to heal - by giving this portion (and more if we can) to the needy. It is actually taught by the sages:
"More than the rich person gives to the poor the poor gives to the rich."
In other words, really the poor who is taking the money is actually giving to the rich, giving merits and causing health – spiritual and physical.
It is important to understand that really, this money is not ours. Hashem says 'I am giving you a certain amount of money as your income, yet 10% of it is not yours, and you must pass it on to those who need it." That is the condition. If one does not fulfill their obligation by giving 10% of their income to charitable causes one is stealing from Hashem. One is taking what is not theirs. For this 10% is not our money. In this way, G-d forbid, blockages occur in the spiritual flow, that translate to blockages in physical health and disease manifests. With all being said, if a person does not have enough from his earnings to sustain his household, he is exempt from giving a tenth. It is praiseworthy however to write down 10% of each earning and when Hashem restores that person's financial abundance, to give it then.
"The house that is closed to the beggar is open to the doctor!"
Aside from fulfilling this law that was Divinely set in order to bring justice and peace in the world and heal our souls and bodies, the giving is actually a joyous process and if one is sensitive one can feel the heart opening in thankfulness for life and to Hashem, and love for Hashem and his creations.
There are many worthwhile causes to donate to. The righteous…the poor, and the ill needing healing.
In addition to giving the regular donations, we should understand and always be aware, that when we are approached, as discussed earlier in the section of Hashgacha Pratit, Divine providence, we should see that the person approaching us with a request, whether a poor person in the street or to our door, or a friend wanting a loan - they are all messengers from Heaven to help them rid ourselves of the money, and harsh judgments along with it, open our heart further and help in our spiritual advancement. This giving will surely work some sort of healing and salvation that we need right now on some level. This is why this agent of Hashem came as this time, and we should give to the best of our abilities with a whole heart, a smile and a blessing. In addition to this, it is good practice to always have some coins in the pocket to give to an outstretched hand in need along our travels. Rabbi Shimon the Tzaddik says that the doing of kindness is one of the three pillars of the world. Help strengthen them, by giving wholeheartedly & with love.
Rabbi Nachman on Charity
All Tzeddaka and kindness that Yisrael do in this world, brings great peace and is a good advocate between Yisrael and their Father in Heaven.
כל צדקה וחסד שישראל עושין בעולם הזה, שלום גדול ומליצי ישר בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים.
Great is Tzeddaka which hastens the Redemption, and saves from death, and he (the giver) greets the Divine Presence, and he becomes an escort to G-d, and his luck is elevated, and he is called a complete Tzaddik.
גדולה צדקה שמקרבת את הגאולה, ומצלת מן המיתה, ומקבל פני השכינה, ונעשה מלוה להקדוש-ברוך-הוא, ונתרומם מזלו, ונקרא צדיק גמור.
When he returns money stolen by his fellow to it's rightful owner, it's as if he gave Tzeddaka.
כשמוציא גזלה מתחת יד חברו, כאלו נתן צדקה.
Tzeddaka is weighed up against all the Mitzvot.
שקולה צדקה כנגד כל המצוות.
וְצָרִיך לְהַעֲלוֹת אֶת הַכָּבוֹד וְהַמַּלְכוּת מֵהֶם, וְזֶה נַעֲשֶׂה עַל יְדֵי צְדָקָה, בִּבְחִינַת (משלי י): "צְדָקָה תַּצִּיל מִמָּוֶת", דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁעַל יְדֵי צְדָקָה מַעֲלִין וּמַצִּילִין אוֹתָהּ מִבְּחִינַת (משלי ה): "רַגְלֶיהָ יוֹרְדוֹת מָוֶת", וְעוֹשִׂין מִ"צֶּדֶק" "צְדָקָה", כִּי צְדָקָה הִיא בְּחִינַת חֲמִשָּׁה חֲסָדִים, כִּי הַצְּדָקָה הִיא בְּחִינַת חֶסֶד, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זַ"ל (סוכה מט:): 'אֵין הַצְּדָקָה מִשְׁתַּלֶּמֶת אֶלָּא לְפִי חֶסֶד שֶׁבָּהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "זִרְעוּ לָכֶם לִצְדָקָה וְקִצְרוּ לְפִי חָסֶד", ועל ידי בחינת החמשה חסדים, על ידי זה מוסיפין ה' ונעשית מ"צדק" "צדקה". וּכְנֶגֶד זֶה נִזְכַּר בַּתּוֹרָה ה' פְּעָמִים צְדָקָה כְּנֶגֶד הַחֲמִשָּׁה חֲסָדִים, שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת צְדָקָה כַּנַּ"ל.
וְזֶה בְּחִינַת (ישעיה מא): "מִי הֵעִיר מִמִּזְרָח צֶדֶק יִקְרָאֵהוּ לְרַגְלוֹ", "מִי הֵעִיר מִמִּזְרָח" זֶה בְּחִינַת צְדָקָה, בבחינת "מִמִּזְרָח אָבִיא זַרְעֶך", בְּחִינוֹת: "זִרְעוּ לָכֶם לִצְדָקָה" וְכוּ'. ועַל יְדֵי זֶה: "צֶדֶק יִקְרָאֵהוּ לְרַגְלוֹ" הַיְנוּ, שֶׁעַל יְדֵי הַצְּדָקָה, אֲזַי הַצֶּדֶק קוֹרֵא אֶת הָרַגְלִין, שֶׁמַּעֲלִין אֶת הָרַגְלִין מִבְּחִינַת: "רַגְלֶיהָ יוֹרְדוֹת" וְכוּ' כַּנַּ"ל.
וְזֶה בְּחִינַת (ישעיה נח): "וְהָלַך לְפָנֶיך צִדְקֶך", דְּהַיְנוּ, שֶׁהַצֶּדֶק יוּכַל לֵילֵך, הַיְנוּ בְּחִינַת שֶׁמַּעֲלִין הָרַגְלִין, שֶׁהֵם כְּלֵי הַהֲלִיכָה. וְזֶה: "וְהָלַך לְפָנֶיך", לְפָנֶיך דַּיְקָא, כִּי מַעֲלִין אֶת הַכָּבוֹד וְהַמַּלְכוּת אֶל אוֹר הַפָּנִים כַּנַּ"ל.
This is a Work in Progress
Charity in Scripture
The way of a wicked man is an abomination of the Lord, but He loves him who pursues righteousness.
תועבת יהוה דרך רשת ומידע צדקה יאהב
He who pursues charity and kindness will find life, charity, and honor.
רודף צדקה וחסד ימצא חיים צדקה וכבוד
He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gave of his bread to the poor.
טוב עין הוא יברך כי נתן מלחמו לדל