"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Changed Tzedakah Plans

*Because I am currently feeling mentally ill (I technically am always mentally ill; however, by the grace of the Holy One, Praised Be He, most of the time I don't feel it), I thought this would be a shorter post on this topic than I would otherwise write.  With God's help, however, it came out as long as necessary.*

When I first started collecting tzedakah money, I picked three charities between which to rotate donating: Lev Lalev, Reece's Rainbow, and Heifer International.  In this post, I will focus on Lev Lalev.

Lev Lalev, for those who don't know or don't remember, is an Orthodox-run girls' orphanage in Israel. What makes them so much fun as a place to donate is that they have a million individual causes to which one can choose to contribute one's money.  Among them are: mental health, wedding, higher education, and Bat Mitzvah.

My first-ever tzedakah box-full of money went to the Levl Lalev mental health fund.  They mostly treat their girls with PTSD, but regardless of exact diagnoses, as someone with my own mental health issues (Bipolar Type I), I did not feel I could ignore that.

I made the decision that the next time it came time to donate a box-full to Lev Lalev, I would give to their higher education fund.  This fund is important to me for two reasons: the more obvious is that I am in graduate school myself right now; less obvious is that I am in school to be a teacher, helping others benefit from school.

At the same time as I chose my second Lev Lalev fund, I made a decision never to donate to their wedding or Bat Mitzvah funds.  It's not that I disapprove of weddings or B'not Mitzvah in principle; rather, for reasons that are too complicated for this blog post, I disapprove of *Orthodox style* weddings and B'not Mitzvah.

Well, it is coming time to donate to Lev Lalev again.  Lo and behold, I am in my first serious romantic relationship.  I really, really wish to honor that with my next tzedakah donation, so I am giving to the wedding fund.  This is OK after all, because the wedding fund is not just used for the weddings themselves, but also to help the new couples set up their first homes.  How can I disapprove of that?

My future Lev Lalev donations, when I cycle around to them, will be higher education fund; and then, yes, Bat Mitzvah fund.  I might as well give there if I contributed for weddings.

So I guess one never knows what will happen in one's life!

PS: My tzedakah box is currently roughly half full and holds $15.88.  Let's say, for the sake of argument, that that doubles by the time the box is full.  (Trust me, it won't be that exact, but let's argue that it is.)  Then I will have $31.76 to donate.  To me, as a graduate student who isn't working yet, that is a nice size donation.  Once I am working, I am obligated to donate ten percent of my earnings, but as someone who isn't working yet, two coins a day Sunday-Thursday (so ten random coins, between 10 cents and $2.50 over the course of the week), and then Friday, four quarters if I have them and then whatever's left that's not in quarters, seems reasonably sizable.  Today I am dividing my change in half so I can donate tomorrow night, on Purim.  If I end up with a larger "half" and a smaller "half", I will donate the larger today.

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!