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Strengthening prayers by giving proper charity
(08-05-2011, 01:45 PM)Mattityahu ben Noach Wrote: "... combined with proper charity and acts of goodness and kindness."

Please elaborate. What is meant by "proper charity and acts of goodness and kindness"?
For example, when I dine out of the house, sometimes I will do so at a certain restaurant chain which has a private charity designed to care for the needs of sick children and their families. These restaurants have a box into which donations may be dropped, and I will sometimes donate my change after buying my food. Is this to be considered "proper charity"?

If no part of the donation is being used for the purpose of missionizing people to a false religion, or supporting the practice of a false religion, that clears a main issue as to whether it is proper charity. Some missionary groups deceptively hide their identity when they solicit for "charitable" funds. One should be wary of whether an organization funds activities that are in conflict with any other of the Noahide Commandments. For example, if they provide assistance for elective abortions, or sexual reassignment surgery, or euthanasia, or terrorism.

(08-05-2011, 01:45 PM)Mattityahu ben Noach Wrote: I realize that sometimes a charity eats up much or even most of the donations in "administration fees", and these fees vary from charity to charity. Since the restaurant in question is closely affiliated with the charity, I assume the administration fees are kept low so that more of my donation actually gets to the person in need as opposed to buying the suit for the pencil pusher counting the donations, if you take my meaning, but I don't KNOW this to be the case. Should I put more effort into finding out how much of the donations are eaten up in these sorts of fees?

Obviously, if charitable donations to an organization are systematically misappropriated, that is a problem. If that is happening, it might be that not all of the person's donation will qualify as charity.

(08-05-2011, 01:45 PM)Mattityahu ben Noach Wrote: Should we Noachides favor Jewish charities above Gentile ones (for example, looking for like vs. like, donate to Mogen David Adom over the "International Red Cross / Red Crescent"), or vice versa?

Some criteria for what is a proper charity are mentioned above. The decision as to whether to favor Torah-observant Jewish charities that support matters of "yishuv olom" (improving human well-being, whether for the general population, or for Jews in particular, or for residents of Israel, or for Noahide communities, etc.), is optional.

(08-05-2011, 01:45 PM)Mattityahu ben Noach Wrote: I subscribe to a service (through a certain yeshiva in Jerusalem which focuses on Ba'alei Teshuvah) whereby I can download lessons on Torah, both oral and written, Jewish ethics, Jewish history (ancient and recent), as well advice on improving my own moral character. Can I consider this "charity" since I am supporting the yeshiva, even though I am getting far more from them than they receive from me?

When giving to Jews or Jewish organizations, Gentiles are advised (from a Torah perspective) to give for support of practical needs that poor people have in common, whether they are Jews or Gentiles - e.g. the need for food, clothing, shelter, and medical treatment. In regard to support for teaching Torah, Gentiles should support Torah-true efforts to teach and publicize the Noahide Commandments to increasing numbers of Gentiles.

(08-05-2011, 01:45 PM)Mattityahu ben Noach Wrote: As for "acts of kindness," is there a difference between teaching children how to defend themselves against an attacker (I teach aikido, a martial art, and some of the students are minors), and holding a door for someone whose hands are full? And which is to be preferred? Is the adage, "give a man a fish, teach a man to fish" applicable here, so that teaching is to be preferred over handouts?

The teaching of practical and beneficial knowledge and skills is one of the pillars that the world stands on. When this is neglected, "yishuv olom" may be obstructed and harmed. But the practice of truly kind acts is greatly needed, especially in our day and age more than ever before, and this is not at all mutually exclusive with teaching at whatever level. One can and should do both.

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RE: Noahide prayers for peace - by Director Michael - 08-17-2011, 12:41 PM

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