To those collecting for individuals or institutions
Here is a declaration that I suggest people adopt.
After the Torah centers of Europe were destroyed in the Holocaust, and the number of serious Torah students numbered barely a few hundred, the rabbinic leaders created a hora’as sha’ah (emergency decree). They decided that these young men should be absolved of a man’s normal obligations to his family, society and nation, and instead be allowed and supported to develop in Torah. Eighty years later, this succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination, and there is now more Torah study than at any time in our history.
However, now there is a new national emergency. Following the Simchas Torah massacre and kidnapping, we are faced with:
Many hundreds of soldiers having been killed and thousands injured, with these burdens being shouldered almost exclusively by the dati-leumi and secular communities;
Hundreds of thousands of reservists having to leave their families and jobs for many months, causing great social and economic harm;
Many thousands of young dati-leumi men in mechinot being pulled away from their single year of Torah study to solve the IDF manpower shortage;
Enormous national war expenses running to tens of billions of dollars, causing great harm to the economy;
A need for Israel to have a strong economy and cutting-edge technology, in order to create and fund a strong IDF that can protect it from Palestinians, Hezbollah, Iran and others.
All this has ramifications for charitable giving. It is not just about prioritizing war-related causes. It also means that when supporting people or funding Torah institutions, priority must be given to those people and institutions that integrate Torah study with army service, and education towards professional careers that will strengthen the economy, rather than those which reject army service and secular education.
If, on the other hand, you believe that anyone can choose Torah study and spiritual pursuits as a replacement for physical and material support to the nation, then we will support you in kind, by dedicating our Torah study and prayers to your success.
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