Thursday, June 29, 2006
Can We All Agree that this is a Waste of Funds?
It is hard to believe that this article by Rabbi Horowitz, "Thirteen Year-olds or Thirteen Gallons?," regarding prioritizing tzedakah and ma'aser funds found opposition and controversy. Seems that the battle to encourage prioritizing tzedakah dollars is going to be an uphill battle.
Well, in comparison to this grandiose waste of money I discovered today via the Bronstein's blog, Chai Rotel appears to be quite worthy cause. At least with Chai Rotel, people get fed, and possibly even people who have a hard time putting food on the table get fed. (Note: my opinion of Chai Rotel hasn't changed. I've just discovered larger wastes of communal resources).
The grandiose sum of money spent by the Lubavitch Women's Organization and other organizations to promote a false Messiah totals well beyond the $20,000 a month (read: $240,000 a year) it costs to maintain this single billboard seen on the West Side Highway near Lincoln Tunnel. Some organization called "Yechi HaMelech, ran an ad in the New York Times on Saturday, April 8 on page A9 (sorry, I can't seem to upload the image), entitled "Accepting the Kingship of Moshiach Kabbolas Hamalchus." I discovered that ad in that stack of papers I was attacking with a vengence about three weeks ago. My husband saw the ad at work and brought me home a copy.
This advertisement declaring the deceased seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach asks interested parties to send in a form with your phone number so a representative can get in touch with them.
On top of the utter halachic and hashkafic problems with such beliefs which I don't care to argue here at Orthonomics as others can do a far superior job, I can only wish that donors to such causes have a change of heart on the yartzeit of the 7th Lubavicher and donate to causes that will promote Yiddishkeit, help fellow Jews, and honor the memory of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, not defame him.
The millions that have been spent to promote such shtus could be better used to fund Tomchei, Hachnasat Kallah, Jewish Education, kiruv programs, or even Chai Rotel. I've been in Crown Heights and I can't believe that everyone in Crown Heights is well fed and has their medical needs taken care of. Are the schools no lacking for funds? Are there no unemployed or underemployed people? Are the needs so taken care of that millions of dollars can be spent on Billboards and Ads in the New York Times.
While I'm no Lubavitcher and do have some issues with the hashkafah inside Chabad, I do know that the Rebbe cared about about the gashmius and ruchnius of his community, and 12 years after his passing spending $240,000 a year on a billboard and tens of thousands of more dollars on advertisements in the New York Times could not have been the vision of the Rebbe.