Tithing Your Losses

It is told that there was once a grandson who claimed that his grandfather had been a hidden saint.

In attesting to his grandfather’s virtue, the grandson recounted the honourable work that his grandfather would do, the hours that he committed to prayer and study, and that he would donate ten percent to the poor.

The listeners were not particularly impressed since these are characteristics of any righteous and observant Jew.

The grandson continued saying, “My grandfather would give a tenth of his profits to [charity] and he would give a tenth of his losses as well.”

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Does Tragedy Confer Dignity?

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the 2010 plane crash in which 96 people, including Poland’s then president Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria, died.

They were en route to commemorate the 1940 Katyn Forest Massacre in which more than 20,000 Poles had been murdered by Soviets.

Those on the flight composed an official delegation and so many of the other crash victims were political, church, and military leaders in Poland.

I still remember a religious sister guiding me toward a monument commemorating victims of the crash in the Lublin cemetery. She whispered, “Some do not refer to this as the Smolensk disaster but rather as Katyn the Second.”

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