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Why Are Many Youths Leaving Judaism?

Rabbi YY Jacobson

The Extraordinary Story of Jewish Philanthropy; Why Are Many Youths Leaving Judaism?

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Already our Biblical forefathers in the desert, notwithstanding all of their rebellions and complaining, knew how to be generous. As a matter of fact sometimes they even gave blindly and to contradicting causes. The Talmud expresses this in amazement: “What is the peculiar nature of this people? When asked to contribute to the Golden Calf, they gave, and when asked to donate to the building of the Sanctuary they also gave!” Some people are compulsive gamblers, Jews are compulsive givers. One of the most striking characteristics of the Jewish people is that by nature we give charity. This is not only a religious virtue and charity for religious institutions—Jews support endless organizations: Organizations devoted to world peace, to a greener environment, fighting cruelty to animals, saving the whales, the Democratic Party, the UN, and countless hospitals and universities. Where did we get the genes to give so much charity? From our father Abraham, the quintessential man of love and kindness. Jacob gave us the talent to study Torah, Isaac—to work on ourselves, pray, and grow inwardly, but Abraham taught us how to love and give." A Talmudic statement alludes to a fascinating fact: even at the end of days, as the generations progress and grow spiritually and intellectually weaker, Jews will continue to give. This class will explore how today—more than Isaac and Jacob—Jews are characterized most by the ‘genetic’ influence of Abraham. This is also our modern mission more than anything else, to emulate his example and learn how to love and accept each other.

In English
Bereshit-Lech Lecha Intermarriage
lech lecha, assimiliation
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