Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is it overly cynical…

stirfry 007

… of me to be peeved that this major, glossy entreaty for funds, from Israeli mega-tzedakah Kupat Ha’ir, not only mis-spells the word “wothrwhile” on the cover, but offers to protect you from every “distressful” situation???

There is a longstanding tradition that “tzedakah tatzil mi’maves” – tzedakah can redeem us from death and other evils.  But they’re not just talking about steering pure evil out of our path – they’re talking about “distressful” situations, which can vary mightily from person to person.  I don’t find changing kitty litter particularly “distressful,” but someone else definitely might.  Okay, that’s a trivial example:  how about doing the laundry?

There is already a fairly lucid (old) article up at vosizneias.com looking into some of this organization’s practices, if you’re interested.  That’s not exactly my point.

I think my point is that some sectors of the frum community take inordinate pride in their relative illiteracy.  Who else would spend tens of thousands of bucks on glossy ads and not check the spelling of the words on the cover?

Unless that is how you proclaim your very shtarkitude to the world:  failing English, or never taking it, because your nose was buried in a gemara.

Perhaps it even gives donors confidence that no part of their money will go for fancy editing and proof-reading staff!  And that no part of their money will leave the frum world to be touched by those who know and care about grammar, spelling, punctuation.

Kupat Ha’ir claims to be supported by “gedolei  hador” (indeed, for a minimum contribution, these gedolim will apparently daven for me personally at the kosel for 40 days) – and it makes me sad because I suspect gedolim of previous generations would definitely have cared more about the chillul Hashem – both within and without of an organization that presents itself so sloppily.

These days, it seems, the sloppiness is part of the package. 

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