Monday, March 10, 2008

ever been to the kotel? i can't remember the first time, because i was so young but i had the good fortune to go countless times.

you walk through security, towards the women's section, already thinking about what your going to pray for, maybe it's your sister's friend who can't have kids, maybe it's your cousin whose 32 and single, your friend whose having a little bit of trouble keeping shabbos lately-

"'allo, giveret!" a sharp cry interrupts your thoughts. you look down, at tiny wizened old lady sitting in a small chair, with her hands outstretched. why not? you think, it can only help, right? so you dig into your purse...oh no! all you have are a few coins! you pray that at least you have a few such luck. it's all agurot. (and you were saving them for your emergency iced coffee fund) what should you do now? she saw you digging into your purse, you can't walk away now!

so you almost apologetically drop the coins in her cup, and try to slink away-

"plink!" something lands at your feet. you look down. it's the agurot! you look back at her. she looks at you disgusted, and then leans over and spits on the money, and shakes her fist at you. too embarrassed to retrieve your coins, you slink away, and approach the wall, trying to collect your train of thought. oh well, maybe that embarrassment will give you an extra merit.

NOTES: this post is based on a true experience that happened to me last year.
i was inspired by child ish behavior's post about collectors


Yoni said...

maybe you should just take your purse and empty the contents on the floor and take every agurah you have for her?

I dunno... its really frustrating when things like that happen.

Child Ish Behavior said...

Thanks for the plug. That is just what I am saying. Its not like you are insulting them; They are the ones asking. The mitzvah is to give something if you can afford it; you don't have to make yourself poor.

frumcollegegirl said...

yea. on the other hand, my neighbor's son came around collecting. i'd had maaser money for ages that i needed to get rid of. so i gave him fifteen bucks. it was a stupid move, cuz now he comes by all the time, and he looks so disappointed when i only give him like seventy five cents

halfshared said...

Classic Story. I'm always afraid to give a dollar to collectors that come to my door constantly. I've had ppl. throw that back at me too..and listen up, I don't always have more to take it or throw it back at my face.

rivlinatorx said...

You know what i say, someone who can't appreciate the slightest bit of tzedaka should get a goddamn job instead of getting angry when we don't give them. The whole shnorrer scene at the kotel is enough to make me not want to go there again. They should forbid collecting there. It makes the whole experience miserable and guilt feelings even though you know you're not bill gates and have no choice to sometimes say no. But boy are they rude pricks, YOU'D MAKE MORE WORKING. GO AWAY.

The Babysitter said...

somebody told me this exact story, now I'm starting to wonder....But I don't remember who told it to me.

When poor people used to come knocking at the door at my grandfathers house a long time ago. My mother said he would start out giving them a small amount and if they accepted it then he would give more. If they threw it back at him or asked for more then he wouldn't give them more.