With the economies continued sluggishness competition for philanthropic dollars has grown fiercer than ever. Much fund-raising material that one sees today is extremely off-putting with apparent manipulation of Gedolei Yisroel and snake-oil-merchant guarantees for refuos and yeshuos . But this ad that I received by email yesterday came as a breath of fresh air.
I give it a two thumbs up! here are some of the things that I liked about it:
1. The cause is a great one. In-vitro and other cutting edge reproductive technologies cost a fortune and are rarely fully covered by medical insurance. I'd hazard that bringing about a new Jewish life is at least on par with saving and existing one. The agmas nefesh that infertile couples experience is horrible. Additionally we all know what Khaza"l teach us about the walking-dead existence of those who are childless. This is a Hashqafa that is reinforced in so many ways in contemporary frum society. So when a healthy baby is born to a formerly childless couple three lives are being saved. Talk about leveraging your Tzedaka dollars!
2. The clever tie-in to T"u B'Shavt. Someone there knows from marketing! It's wonderful to see some pastoral imagery depicted for a change.Most tzedaka ads today depict either suffering or sufferers, Khasidic singing stars and/ or chafing dishes at buffet tables. Our society is very urban(without being urbane) and concrete jungle-like so it's nice to pause occasionally to admire the verdant beauty of trees, even if they don't grow in Brooklyn and even if they are a mere image on ones computer screen. There is much that we can learn in our own avodah from botanic life...but that's a topic for another post... if at all.
3. The explicit and implicit message that virtue is it's own reward. No promises of cancer cures, shidduchim for the older single or beating your IRS audit. No promises or guarantees of anything at all. The ad concludes with a blessing and a T'u B'Shvat appropriate wish, that the saplings grow to be like the parent tree. Give Tzedaka because its the right thing to do. What a concept!
I'm so impressed I might, repeat might, even contribute $5! DISCLAIMER: The above sentence is not to be construed as a neder or a pledge.
בא המבדיל והעמידן על אחת
"Those who cannot tolerate Havdala cannot appreciate Qedusha"