Justice in Israel

Accepting the gratitude of others: A moment of blessing at the Hadera Justice Center

0 Comments 18 September 2017

Gratitude is a basic Jewish value, and still it is not easy for us to accept it from others. This is especially true when those are individuals are those who turn to us at the Rabbis for Human Rights’ Hadera Rights Center.  When folks come and wish to thank us for the help they received navigating Israeli bureaucracy, especially those who also bring us something—we feel discomfort. How can we allow a individual who is having such a hard time spend their money on us? We did our job, and our payment is the success we achieved. Rabbi Idit Lev, the direcotor of Rabbis for Human Rights’ social justice program, explains how she learned to accept gratitude:thank-you-140227_960_720

In the beginning, I would always say it out loud: “You shouldn’t have.” But then I thought about it and studied the Jewish sources. I thought of the many prayers that help us pause and feel gratitude for everything we have. I realized this is important for the people who want to thank us, and we ought to learn to accept those gestures, and be grateful for them too.

On Wednesday September 6 2017, I met with a woman who has been receiving help from us for a number of years. She’s had some impressive successes during those years – with our help but mainly because of herself. Today she is working and receiving a full pension. When we first met her, although she was entitled to the full pension, she was not receiving it.

Today at the beginning of the meeting she said she wanted to thank us for the assistance, the mindfulness, and for enabling her to realize to the fullest extent all she is entitled to. She gave me a donation of 250 Shekels for the organization.

I was extremely touched. I know for her this is a very big sum which she saved very slowly. I asked her twice if she was sure. She was sure. So I said thank you. She added and said that this is probably not very significant for our budget. I answered that any contribution—big or small is significant for our activity.

A moment of blessing.

Rabbi Idit Lev

idit2Rabbi Idit Lev is the director of Rabbis for Human Rights’ socio-economic justice program

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