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It’s Now or Never

I love donating money and I always feel good after donating it.
[additional-authors]
December 7, 2023
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“It’s now or never.
Come hold me tight.
Kiss me my darling.
Be mine tonight.
Tomorrow will be too late.
It’s now or never.
My love won’t wait.
“It’s now or never.”

– Songwriters: Wally Gold / Giovanni Capurro / Eduardo Di Capua / Aaron H. Schroeder / Emmanuele Mazzucchi

According to Maimonides, “The highest level of giving, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan or entering a partnership.” Israel needs our support. It’s now or never. 

My wife is much better at donating money than I am. So are members of her family. Years ago, her brother Bobby and sister-in-law Sandi named a Jewish Community Day School The Eleanor Kolitz Academy in San Antonio after their mother. 

I love donating money and I always feel good after donating it. But as soon as I think about donating, I am attacked by that voice that says, ‘You can’t afford it. Work is slow, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”  

For instance, I recently received an email from AIPAC. We love AIPAC. I asked my wife, “Nancy, are we donating to AIPAC?”  She said, “I sent them a check last week.” When I found out how much she sent them, I considered removing all the pens and stamps from the house. It was nice to know she has such confidence in my earning ability.

Since we don’t write on Yom Tov or Shabbat at my synagogue, they hand out cards and ask you to fold back the tab with the amount you want to donate. As a joke, I always fold back the $18,000 tab. One day, I’ll pay the price when my wife accidentally sends in the card with the $18,000 folded down and I must tell the Rabbi I was joking.  I meant $18.

Many organizations have the “check here” box if you want to make a monthly contribution. I am already committed to a monthly contribution with Spectrum so we can watch the L.A. Dodgers.  My monthly Spectrum bill is about Shalom Bayit or peace in the home. It comes way before many worthy causes.  Look, between me and you, if I didn’t have Spectrum, I’d have to talk to my wife and kids, and you know what that means: Lots of fighting, yelling, and disagreeing. Go Dodgers. 

But on Oct. 7th, 2023, everything seemed to change. Israel was savagely attacked by the evil terrorist group Hamas, and the number of dead and wounded and kidnapped started adding up. In Hebrew, Hamas means “violence.” King David used it several times in his psalms. Many causes have come my way over the years, but this rose immediately to the top like bubbles in a champagne glass.

In my seven decades, this is by far the most important donation I’ve ever been asked to make. I now donate money, go to rallies, give blood, post on social media, do extra mitzvahs, hang a mezuzah, be kind, pray, follow the Ten Commandments and more. When people ask what they can do, you can do a lot. Use my ideas and come up with your own.

What we saw on Oct. 7th was a modern-day Zombie movie. Dead souls, thirsty for blood, crossing a border to kill everyone. The ant hill was kicked over, and we’ve been shown a fraction of the vile that lays beneath. Not giving and donating on some level is not an option.  It’s now or never for us. 

Jew hatred is now openly tolerated online, at marches, by ripping down hostage posters, by rape, and by the murder of an elderly Jewish man named Paul Kessler.  As we edge closer to them violently dragging us from our homes, don’t think they don’t want to. It’s now or never for us.

Israel is being asked to donate the ultimate: their mothers, fathers, and children.  We here in America are being asked a lot less. 

Israel is being asked to donate the ultimate: their mothers, fathers, and children.  We here in America are being asked a lot less. 

 “Masters of War…. “Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness, do you think that it could? I think you will find, when your death takes its toll, all the money you made will never buy back your soul.”  – Bob Dylan 1963

It’s now or never.


Mark Schiff is a comedian, actor and writer, and host of the ‘You Don’t Know Schiff’ podcast. His new book is “Why Not? Lessons on Comedy, Courage and Chutzpah.”

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