In Ethics of our Fathers (Pirkei Avot 5:13) the Mishna talks about 4 categories of people associated with giving charity. The 4th is one who doesn't give any - and also prevents others from doing so. The Mishna calls this person a Rasha (wicked). Now read on:
For some time now some AJNWatch contributors have been following up the truly bizarre (alleged) claim by a number of Meshulochim and (allegedly) verified by their local drivers that they are banned from entering Caulfield Shul during prayer times by the 'guard' if he has the slightest suspicion that they may Chalilah vaChas use the opportunity to accept Tzedaka. They virtually have to beg this bouncer for mercy and almost 'swear' by their mother's lives that they will only pray.
And woe betide anyone who breaks this most ancient decree (conceived approx 3,500 years ago by the Board of Management of the former city of Sodom). To the best of our knowledge there was never such a diktat in place under the previous rabbis, Rabbi Sholem Gutnick and Rabbi Yonasan Abraham.
Maybe it's time that someone gave the good people of CHC a halachic/history Shiur regarding the behaviour of the Sodomites - as well as how it all ended.
Until then, maybe when next sermonising, the rabbi quote a few lines from one of the many sites that talk about this and freely available on the net, Eg:
But then neither did we find amongst in his plans anything about educating the parishioners about the importance of Mitzvah of Tzedakah. Check out the list, maybe we missed something there.
Despite using the term "allegedly", we actually have several first-hand reports about this disgraceful behaviour taking place regularly in front of a once proud and heimish Shul.
What causes a formerly highly respected Beth haKneset to turn its back on Mitzvat Tzedaka and in its place be labelled by visiting needy people as a reminder of one of the most wicked places known in our (and indeed the world's) tradition?
Was it the change in the make-up of board members? Was it the religious leadership or lack of any input by them? Some may say that after the unpleasant and expensive Mond business and the departure of the rabbi there was been a noticeable drop of attendance by those labelled as Shomrei Torah uMitzvot. But whatever, instituting "Sodom laws" is a massive plunge in acceptable standards and indeed something unheard of in Shuls anywhere.
Following the publicity about these charges, we truly hope that the decent and charitable folk who remain and/or who have connections with CHC will express their outrage and pass on our sentiments to as many people as possible with the aim to influence a change in this despicable rule.
Having known about the above for quite some time, you can imagine how staggered we were after receiving the following 'hilarious' Purim newsletter published by Rabbi Ralph, where he jokes about how Chareidim will be treated in his Shul. (At least, we hope he is joking. But seeing the way collectors are treated in his Shul, who knows?)
Rabbi, here's some advice. Forget the college humour. Take a long and serious look at what is happening in YOUR synagogue! Hiring guards to ensure that congregants (unfortunately very few - after you discount the Kaddish-zogers) do not, G-d forbid, give a few dollars to destitute or unwell fellow Yidden! Poor Jews who have paid a small fortune and shlepped themselves to the other side of the world to try and get help themselves and their families. Shouldn't you be thoroughly ashamed to be associated with such practices? Do we need to remind you that Tzedakah was always the most important Mitzvah that Jews everywhere participated in? Whether they could afford it or not.
Where is your and your Shul's Ahavat Yisrael to these poor people - Chareidi and non-Chareidi?
Are you not embarrassed that your CHC spend member's monies - ensuring that they won't give charity! What an absolute disgrace!
Maybe your next newsletter topic should discuss at length the words of Chazal that proof of being part of עם ישראל is when Jews show that they are ביישנים, רחמנים וגומלי חסדים