Why Giving Tuesday is more important than Black Friday

In Parshat Toldot, Yitzchak blesses Yaakov with the following words (Breisheet 27:28):

And may God give you of the dew (tal) of heaven and of the fatness (riches) of the land, and abundance of grain (dagan) and wine (tirosh).

According to Rashi, the blessing is that God will keep giving over and over again.

Ramban adds that God’s gifts will be steady without interruption.

Rabbi Aharon Greenberg in his book “Iturei Torah” points out that some new possessions make you happy for a day or two. When you get used to those possessions, you begin looking to acquire more things. Yitzchak’s gift to Yaakov is that he will be satisfied as his success will continue to grow every day.

Rabbi Zalman Sarotzkin in his work “Oznaim LaTorah” teaches that grain (bread) is a staple that everyone needs while wine is a luxury. Yitzchak is hinting in his blessing that at a time where there is plenty of bread for both the rich and the poor and nobody is hungry then wine is permitted for the wealthy to drink. However, when there is a shortage of bread, the wealthy should not drink wine even if they can afford it. Rather, they should give the money that they would have spent on wine to the poor so that they too can have bread.

As we gear up for Thanksgiving, we must take a moment to be thankful for the bread on our plates and the luxury to drink wine if we so desire. We should appreciate what we have and not get carried away by the shopping season that follows beginning on Black Friday. Instead of buying more things that we may not need, we should first consider helping those who are really in need. For that reason, #GivingTuesday was established to ensure that we do not forget about those who are less fortunate. Giving Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday is a global day of giving which kicks off the end of the calendar year charity season.

May we continue to be blessed with Yitzchak’s blessing each and every day.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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