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As told to Chany Rosengarten

Morning. I hear the Megillah just after dawn and return to a house enwrapped in sweet, slumbering silence. A rustle. A rattle of the front door. I turn, and I see a white envelope appearing under the door. I snatch it up, finger the smooth paper. And then I open it. Matanos l’evyonim.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

hand with coinWhat’s money? A few green papers, usually soggy, with the face of some long-gone politician in the center. It’s the fodder that keeps Visa sponsoring shoes, clothing, and food. It’s the pillar that holds up the roof over my head.

I used to hold a top-level position in my office. I did well. Hardly did I need to even sully myself with hand-to-hand dollars. My earnings rolled into the bank, from where they rolled further, like well-oiled cogs, into my mortgage, tuition, and expenses accounts. Thus covered, I was able to focus my energies on worthier pursuits, like giving to others.

I found peace in sharing what I had with others, and I gave unquestioningly. My family, too, benefited from the bounty, enjoying a well-appointed house, fine clothes, and vacations. My children knew that I saved for their future. They were securely ensconced in their father’s generosity.

But then, like a snake shedding its skin, the market expelled me from my job, for newer, younger, sleeker men. My finances screeched and collided head-on with myself. 

 

 

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