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By Charlotte Gringras, Altrincham Interfaith Group
1:29pm Friday 4th May 2012 in Thought for the week
‘LATER keday latet: give for the sake of giving’ is a Hebrew saying which stresses that giving, or doing good deeds, should be for its own sake, not in order to publicise your kindness to everyone.
Once there was a village, somewhere near Chelm, in eastern Europe, where there lived a miser, let’s call him Isaac.
Whenever collections were made for local charities, he gave nothing, although he was a successful tailor with no dependants.
One day, Isaac died. He was so unpopular that at the funeral, there was barely the quorum of 10 men required to say mourning prayers.
The next Friday night, before the Sabbath, and the next and the next, crying could be heard from the houses of the poor at the edge of the village.
“Where’s our Sabbath bread?” they cried.
“Every week two fresh, plaited loaves sat on our doorstep, with no bill attached,” they said.
They had never known or asked where that bread came from.
Isaac’s voice from heaven could not be heard, but he laughed to himself.
“Soon it will dawn on them that it was my weekly gift. But anyway, I died a happy man.”