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On Their Own

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Do you know what is important to your kids?

I don’t mean the Wii or Littlest Pet Shops.

I mean the kind of things in the world that they find meaningful. Do you know? Because I surely didn’t. Until this past Shabbos when PC asked each one of them to decide where they would like to send their tzedakah.

It was one of those moments — brief, magical, rare moments — when all three kids sat quietly, listened respectfully, and participated thoughtfully. Each contributed their own age-appropriate thoughts about the meaning of the word ‘tzedakah.’ PC then asked them to think about something in the world that needed help or fixing. What problem did they want to help solve.

Three hands shot up in the air.

Poppyseed: You know that hospital that helps the really sick kids? I want to send my tzedakah there.
Beernut: I want to send it to the place that does the walk for autism.

It was a little harder for Peach to focus in on one place. But that is only because he kept naming friends to whom he would give his tzedakah if they didn’t have any money. Eventually, though, he decided that he wanted to make certain that all kids have toys.

Throughout their lives, our children have heard us talk about societal ills, natural disasters, and medical devestation. They have walked to raise awareness for the genocide in Darfur, given tzedakah to family causes (the American Cancer Society, Retinoblastoma International, and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America), planted trees in Israel, and so much more.

But asking them to think about those issues that right now concern them, that capture their imagination, that moves their souls taught me more about who they are right now than I could have discerned on my own.

And so, contributions have been made, in their names, to the following agencies/organizations:


May their now-empty tzedakah boxes be filled once again and provide them with more opportunities to repair our fractured world.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. DadGiraffe permalink
    Sunday, 11 December 2011 2:08 pm

    I couldn’t be prouder of these grandchildren. Whatever they accomplish in the years ahead, the report of this important family discussion–and their loving concern for others that is translated into concrete action–will remain with me always. Kol ha-Kavod to PC! Though he may have later felt the need to apologize to his Hebrew teacher for classroom misbehavior, he clearly got the message that our Religious School was conveying.

  2. the writ and the wrote permalink
    Sunday, 11 December 2011 2:20 pm

    This post made my heart happy.

  3. Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:07 pm

    I love this! And, like you, we had this conversation today as well. Checks written and will be put in the mail tomorrow.

    It has given me such joy to see my son — who is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah — care so much and think so deeply about who he feels most needs financial assistance.

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