Giving and Taking

Being part of a community means giving and taking. A community will always have a portion of members who give more than others, but there can be times where a community has a shortage of givers, and no shortage of takers.

People give to the best of their means, and ideally are not discriminated against for this. Some people give of their time or their goodwill because they don’t have the means to give monetary contributions.

My comments today are directed to those people, a small but noticeable minority who are all take, and no give. I’ll cut straight to the chase:

Don’t turn up to Shule and sit in a seat that somebody else has paid for if you don’t intend to be a member of the shule.

Don’t turn up to Shule and eat a Kiddush that somebody else has donated if you don’t intend to sponsor a Kiddush of your own to mark notable occasions and share your own simcha

Don’t expect a Shule to deliver you a minyan for you to say kaddish if you don’t go to minyanim to extend this mitzvah to other avelim

These are harsh words, especially during the three weeks where sensitivity to other people is of particular concern. Granted, the Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred, but that does not excuse baseless apathy. If everybody stands up to be counted, if everybody contributes, and if everybody shares the burden of running a vibrant community, then it becomes a great pleasure. If a few people are left to shoulder the responsibility by themselves, then the community is already on a collision cause towards sinat chinam.