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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

What to do About Pruitt at the EPA

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Joy Bennetthttp://joybennett.com
Joy is a writer, mom and pet lover in beautiful Santa Monica, California. Website joybennett.com

I was very saddened and shocked to hear that Scott Pruitt was confirmed yesterday as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  This man has no business running an agency he has threatened to dismantle.  I was very upset, but emotions are not going to solve this problem.   Even though I actually started crying, I soon realized there are three things we need to do now to overcome this problem and protect our environment.

One:  Don’t despair, and don’t give up.  It’s just politics, and as you can see from the immigration issue, often the Justice Department or some other force interferes in even the most difficult problem to help resolve things.

Two:  Donate, fight, call, write your representatives, keep up the fight.  This is not over yet.

Three:  Take care of yourself.  Getting depressed will not help.  Eat right and keep your spirits up.  This will be a long haul to fight everything that is going wrong in the political realm right now, and it is going to take all our strength, prayers, guts, head and heart to prevail, but prevail we will.  We must.

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Giving Season

Two Phrases That May Explain Why Giving Comes Naturally

Two women pass a beggar on the street. They have the same income and expenses. The first weeps at the suffering of the beggar and gives him $5 out of the goodness of her heart. The second notices but rushes past. Later in the day, however, she feels compelled because of her religious beliefs and returns to give the beggar $100. Who is the better person? Why are Jews so generous?

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“It started as a spreadsheet, a very basic spreadsheet,” Elana Sichel, a recent graduate of University of Maryland says. She and Hadassah Raskas, a U Penn rising senior, are the co-founders of Corona Connects, an initiative that pairs volunteers with organizations needing the extra hands during this chaotic time of living through the Coronavirus pandemic. The idea originated in a strong desire to be of service, stemming from their observant upbringing. Raskas explains, “I think it really was our Jewish values that really created this thing inside of us…it’s so deeply ingrained.”

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Human nature is to desire to be self-sufficient. Most of us are uncomfortable being takers and prefer earning our own keep. If, due to dire circumstances, we find ourselves on the receiving end, our reaction is generally one of mortification. The Torah is acutely sensitive to the precarious dynamic between patrons and their beneficiaries. The Torah's word for the act of giving to the needy, tzedakah, although commonly translated as "charity," more accurately means "justice."

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