Streams

Five Pillars Week: Charity Open Phones

Thursday, July 18, 2013

nurse, home health aide, home care (Getty)

It's Five Pillars of Islam week on The Brian Lehrer Show. Every day this week, we're hosting an interfaith conversation based around the Five Pillars: Shahadah (faith), Salat (prayer), Sawm (Ramadan), Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage). Today: we open the phones to discuss charity, giving, and service as part of your religious practice. Call 212-433-9692 or post a comment here.

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Comments [18]

David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn
"Ed from Larchmont: Your mind is so full of your Catholicism that you don't get your facts straight if they're not "catholic facts.""

Facts by their very nature are catholic. If you don't understand, see http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catholic. I think your sarcastic comment was meant to be "Catholic facts."

""'Though shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with they whole mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself' - Jesus."

Your quote is not from Jesus"
Technically correct, Ed from Larchmont paraphrased what Jesus said in Matthew 22:36-39 & Mark 12: 28-31

Matthew 22:36-39:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Mark 12: 28-31:
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

"it's from the Torah, and is part of the Sh'ma that we Jews say three or more times a day every day. Fortunately, Jesus was a good Jewish boy who knew that."

Do you think you're teaching us Catholics something here? Of course Jesus is Jewish. Do you think we are shocked that he was quoting the Torah - just like he quotes other parts of the Old Testament with great frequency?

"Also, check your spelling."
Oh my - Ed had a typo, he typed Caritatas instead of Caritas - that certainly makes the rest of his post worthless.

Jul. 22 2013 11:16 AM
Miscellaneous

Independent_Noach:

It is possible that T & B's remarks were not "patronizing, downright insulting...," but that Ed, who is unquestionably and unquestioningly Catholic manages in every post to bring up his Catholicism whether it is relevant to the topic or not, and it is a bit tiresome.

We try to discuss facts in this forum, but some people's views are so colored by their various beliefs and opinions that facts often take a back seat.

In addition, it is true that Jesus was Jewish, so he would have known ONLY the Torah (the "New Testament" did not yet exist) and, if he did in fact make any statement that incorporated those well-known verses, that is the source from whence they came. And that's what T & B said.

Jul. 22 2013 08:05 AM

The quote that "Ed from Larchmont" attributed to Jesus is actually made-up of /two/ separate verses from the Torah (Pentateuch; first five books of the Hebrew Bible or "Old Testament"):

1.) Deuteronomy (Devarim) 6:5
(Which is indeed part of "K'rias Sh'ma"; "The Reading of the Sh'ma", that most fundamental, foundational, essential declaration of belief that is at the heart of the daily liturgy)
and,

2.) Part of Leviticus (VaYikra) 19:18 (not the entire verse)

Perhaps the composite that Ed attributed to Jesus is indeed found that way in some Christian source, suggesting a particular emphasis stressed by him? I wouldn't know.

In any event, I found the patronizing, downright insulting tone that "Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn" directed toward Ed to be completely gratuitous. Whatever anyone may think of Ed's posts and the views they express, I have never seen in any of them any hostility or rudeness toward /anyone/.

Jul. 21 2013 12:08 PM
Amy from Manhattan

T&B, sorry I didn't check back earlier & see your comment. You're right about the quote. Another verse often attributed to Jesus (who knew his Torah) is "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," which is originally Leviticus 19:18.

Jul. 19 2013 01:03 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Ed from Larchmont: Your mind is so full of your Catholicism that you don't get your facts straight if they're not "catholic facts."

"'Though shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with they whole mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself' - Jesus."

Your quote is not from Jesus; it's from the Torah, and is part of the Sh'ma that we Jews say three or more times a day every day. Fortunately, Jesus was a good Jewish boy who knew that. Also, check your spelling.

Jul. 18 2013 05:10 PM

Ed from Larchmont wrote,
"the government, for the purposes of Obamacare, refuses to consider Catholic schools, hospitals, etc., as eligible for the religious conscience exemption."

That is indeed troubling.

Jul. 18 2013 01:17 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Lastly, we don't give charity to justify ourselves or to be righteous. We can't be righteous on our own actions. We are justified because God in his love has justified us through the death of Jesus. We do charity out of love and out of joy.

Jul. 18 2013 12:51 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Lastly, we don't give charity to justify ourselves or to be righteous. We can't be righteous on our own actions. We are justified because God in his love has justified us through the death of Jesus. We do charity out of love and out of joy.

Jul. 18 2013 12:46 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Brian Lehrer said that in the other four pillars, like prayer, one does 'to make oneself feel good'. Again, Brian Lehrer the atheist: one does them to enter into communion with God, into relationship. Charity reminds us that that is not enough:

'Though shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with they whole mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself' - Jesus.

'Faith without works is dead.' Letter of St. James

See also Pope Benedict's encyclical of a few years ago 'Caritatis in Veritate', Charity in Truth, about authentic and helpful charity on all levels.

Brian Lehrer said correctly that charity is an essential part of religion is doing charity: but the government, for the purposes of Obamacare, refuses to consider Catholic schools, hospitals, etc., as eligible for the religious conscience exemption. Other religions have received exemptions.

The most telling parable of Jesus is that of Lazarus, paraphrased:

A beggar named Lazarus lay at the door of a rich person, and the rich man gave him nothing. The dogs came and licked his sores. Eventually Lazarus died, and so did the rich man. Lazarus went to the bosom of Abraham, but the rich man went to punishment. He begged for relief, which was impossible. The Lord told him 'You had good things in this life, and Lazarus had none of them, now he has found consolation here, and you have found suffering.'

Or in the judgement in St. Matthew's Gospel 'What you did for the least of my brothers, you did to me' - Jesus.

Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three parts that make up complete prayer and make it powerful.

Jul. 18 2013 12:21 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Maimonides listed 8 levels of charity/tzedakah. Giving anonymously (so the recipient doesn't know who gave it & the giver doesn't know who received it) is higher than giving so both people, or either person, know who the money came from/went to. The highest level of charity is giving someone work or helping them find work, so they won't need tzedakah anymore. (Maimonides didn't say anything about touting how many jobs you've "created" to run for office.)

Jul. 18 2013 11:08 AM
John A

Nick, charity is a good exercise for proud rich to try to level the economic imbalance, and by that, to become less proud in financial isolation.

Jul. 18 2013 11:01 AM
Nick from UWS

Here are the 3 pillars of charity: 1 - Ego - You enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror more after giving, 2 - Guilt / Shame - You hate yourself if you don't do it, or are shamed into it, and you don't enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror 3 - Fear - Your are threatened with damnation or ostracization by your community / parents / church / "faith",/ yourself if you don't give.

Jul. 18 2013 10:56 AM
Marjorie from NYC

While this discussion highlights the remarkable similarities among faiths, please do not forget that there are many of us who have no faith and who incorporate charity and service into our lives. Non-theists make charitable contributions without requirements to tithe or the guilt of passing the plate. My family are generous philanthropic donors to many (secular) organizations. In my view, if it is mandatory, it is not charity. Like many other non-theists, I believe we have innate biologically-based morality and an innate desire to help others.

Jul. 18 2013 10:56 AM
John A

I have never reached the 10% level of giving, on monetary terms, but have given time, rides, and computer advice to the needy. Still, this show may get my levels up.

Jul. 18 2013 10:55 AM
Ryan from Brooklyn

Dear Brian, you rock but it's IS-lahm not IS-lim. You still rock.

Jul. 18 2013 10:50 AM
Graham Walker from Bronx

Today is the Mandaean New Year, and one of their tenets is charity.

Jul. 18 2013 10:49 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

Brian - no Caritas is NEVER translated as charity as in alms. It always means selfless love. Caritas is the Latin for Agape, the Greek for selfless love. In Greek there are 3 ways to describe love: Phileo, Eros, and Agape. Phileo is brotherly love, Eros romantic (or erotic) love, Agape describes God's love.

Jul. 18 2013 10:48 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I am Jewish and we are required to give between 10-20% of our income as tzedakah (charity), but not so much as to impoverish ourselves and require charity. Also, it is best if it is done anonymously so as not to embarrass or humiliate the recipient.

Jul. 18 2013 10:45 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.