The Yiddish word, schnorrer has more than one meaning. It can be used to describe a habitual moocher, someone who never picks up the check, or a low-level jerk, a no-goodnik. However, the first definition in most dictionaries is “beggar.”
There are all kinds of schnorrers: panhandlers on the street, the kid who knocks on your door collecting for UNICEF, and me, too.
In December I become a big schnorrer for Mayyim Hayyim — the mikveh and education I helped found more than ten years ago.
This is not easy for me. Asking friends, acquaintances and blog readers for donations can feel presumptuous – like I’m trying to cash in on our relationship.
On the other hand, when my friends ask me to support good causes and organizations they care about, I am happy to give what I can. I also applaud them for asking because I know it’s not easy for them either.
A professional fundraiser once told me that asking for money gives him joy because he is providing others the opportunity to do something that will make them feel good.
I hope that my schnorrringfor Mayyim Hayyim calls up a vision of the kind of Jewish world we all want to build — fully inclusive, beautiful, intellectually honest, spiritually alive and joyful. I hope that giving to Mayyim Hayyim makes people feel good knowing they are helping to make that vision a reality.
(If you don’t know what Mayyim Hayyim is, explore our website by clicking here: http://www.mayyimhayyim.org )
It has been said (a million times) that people only give if they are asked.
It has also been said (as often) that people tend to give when asked by people they know and care about. So I am asking.
In fact, I’m asking you. Now. Click here to give:
Donating will make you feel good about sustaining Mayyim Hayyim so we can continue to comfort and celebrate, teach and inspire, flourish and lead in 2014.
Thank you for giving me the chance to do the mitzvah (the sacred deed) of asking.
Thank you for doing the mitzvahof giving.