Sunday, November 17, 2019

Far be it for us to rain on all the enthusiasm for this latest Star Wars experience, but the buzz for this movie is extending beyond the walls of the cinema–it seems like droids and lightsabers are showing up on clothing, toys and school supplies. The characters are sure to be a hit when it's time to think about Purim costumes.

Many of us have seen the film or have ordered tickets way in advance of, let’s say, our annual December 25 dining session at Kai Fan in Riverdale or Eden Wok in New Rochelle. Chinese food and a movie seems like a great choice for this Friday.

However, we wish to remind everyone that, in the mail, perhaps more than your fair share of charitable reminders are coming in to help you contribute prior to the end of the 2015 tax year. But the truth is, many of these recent pieces of mail, which have nothing to do with furry space creatures, have everything to do with pledges that we made at times earlier during the secular year. And perhaps let go.

Some of those pledges are hard wired into the functionality of important Jewish organizations, whether it is to provide a safety net for a Jewish family who is deciding whether to pay the electric bill or buy the children boots or gloves for the winter weather.

So before you spend cosmic prices on Star Wars movie tickets and any other action figures, backpacks or accessories your children absolutely can’t live without, remember to take care of those end-of-year tzedakah obligations.

The movie might be the most wonderful film you’ve ever seen. But it is a fantasy. What’s not make believe is that our community goes into a time warp of its own in the months prior to Purim and Passover. That’s when chesed organizations start looking ahead to how they’ll keep families warm, fed and sheltered, and the children in day school.

Taking care of our community doesn’t require 3-D glasses, but the clarity to see that our families are taken care of. This year consider making an extra contribution to your shul’s rabbi’s discretionary fund or another local chesed organization of your choice.

That’s surely worth the price of any Star Wars admission.

And the service we can accomplish as a community? It’s the work of Hashem, and it’s light years ahead of any movie.

May that force be with you.

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