On Being Kicked Out of a Jewish Family

Thursday evening                                                                                                                                    "I can’t believe you really came to the hospital to visit my father!"                                                              "But why are you so surprised?  You are a member of a synagogue.  That makes you a member of an extended Jewish family.  When a member of our family is ill we care, we come."

Friday morning
"Isn’t it sad that some members of our congregation have such low expectations of us?"
"If they can’t help us pay synagogue expenses, I really don’t care what they think."

The following Tuesday evening
"We’re doing away with your position, here’s two months pay.  Can we have your keys and credit card?"

Being a MENSCH is about actually practicing Jewish values and teachings in everything you do.   Simply "using Judaism" as window dressing for your personal lifestyle is no different than pocketing  tzedakah money you’ve raised for a worthy cause.  Is your mission-statement a publicity banner to tell everyone how noble and wonderful you are? Or is it really your raison d’être ?

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About Mitchell S. Gilbert

Mitch Gilbert is a social worker, writer, and religious educator. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he has done community development work in Washington DC, Cleveland, Akron, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Mitch earned a BA at Brooklyn College (CUNY), a Master of Science in Social Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University. In addition, Mitch has done graduate studies in Jewish tradition, history, and culture at New York University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Mitch serves as a volunteer Jewish chaplain in a state prison and a senior adult residential community. In addition to writing/blogging, he an avid volunteer and political activist.
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