Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Raffle Ticket

My mother just recently remembered a story she heard from a Rabbi. Here is the story followed by my very humble (stubborn) opinion:

There once was a lady somewhere in frumville whose child got engaged. She had little money and was unable to afford to make a simcha. Since she was a proud women, she had no desire to ask for charity. Her friend wanted to help her, but she refused to accept charity even from her friends.

Her friend thought of a plan. She decided to sell "raffle tickets." She collected a lot of money. Then went and sold a raffle to her proud friend.

The proud friend "won" the money because she had the system rigged (by not actually having the raffle).


When the Rabbi was telling over this story, he said it with such pride over the frum community. He was saying how wonderful it was that a friend would go out of her way to create a raffle to RIG it, in order to enable her proud friend to throw her child a simcha.


Am I the only one who thinks what this lady did by inventing a raffle is a form of theft? I can't even fathom how a RABBI could introduce this subject into anything other than "theft 101" or "How to manipulate funds 101".. to PRAISE this woman is far from appropriate. I think it's disgusting.

I buy raffle tickets. I personally don't expect to win, I give the money as a form of tzedakah, but I like to know that I have a CHANCE of winning... not necessarily because I intend to win, but because I want to know that my money is going to a legit organization. If an organization is legit, they'd actually RAFFLE OFF tickets- and not just lie about the whole thing.

Am I the only one who thinks that frummy idiots should stop blaming all frum problems on the "lack of tznius" and start focusing on the THEFT in the community. For heavens sake, a Rabbi praised a woman who made up the raffle!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its no wonder we have minyanim (of frum men) in US prisons with KOSHER food!!


Anonymous said...

Though I have no specific knowledge of the original story, or even if that story was true or apochryphal, it seems clear that the point was that the people buying the raffle tickets knew that they were secretely donating to this woman.

They weren't selling raffle tickets to strangers thinking they were buying actual raffle tickets.

%Shocked% said...

I have heard the original story, but I'm not sure which of the following two versions were 'accurate' (Accurate used loosely here because stories from rabbis aren't known for their veracity. At least not by the skeptics out there.), but I'll say them anyway. 1) The woman selling the raffle tickets sponsored the entire thing herself, and 'sold' one raffle ticket to the poor woman or 2) As Anonymous said, those who did donate (buy 'raffle tickets', knew what the money was going for.

I don't think anyone could believe that the story could have taken place any other way. No real rabbi (After the recent events, how we define a 'real rabbi' is debatable, but for argument's sake let's assume that not every rabbi is a crook. Personally, I have no idea who is guilty and who isn't based on the information given to us by the media, but that's just me.) would condone stealing from dozens of people or even to one person, in order to give someone else tzedakah. It's a mitzva haba'ah al yidei aveirah. They don't work very well, and G-d doesn't like them very much, or so it would seem from the halachos anyway.

The truth is, as I reread the story, your own words said what happened. 'She collected a lot of money.' She collected it, then made the raffle.

Unless I'm missing your point... You appear to be upset over a 'theft,' then it's the 'raffle.' But I'm not 100% sure. Did I address the issue you were having or did I miss the point completely?

BrooklynWolf said...

My thinking is along the lines of the other two -- it was simply called a "raffle" so as to not embarrass the recipient. This way the recipient would think she won the money -- but the other people were probably just told that it was actually a charitable donation.

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

The story could be misinterpreted, but when I initially read it, I interpreted it the same way FS did. Hopefully, that's not the way he meant it, but who knows?

Moshe said...

Until someone posts this story verbatim, I'm with tesya and fs.

frumskeptic said...

anon, shocked and wolf - I cant fathom how its "clear" that the people knew they were donating to this woman. I certainly didn't get that it was clear.

When I heard the story from my mother there was absolutely no implication of the people KNOWING they were buying the raffle tickets. So unless the story was just mistold, the Rabbi *was* infact praising a woman who played Robin Hood.

David said...

It's not theft. Technically, it's fraud.

frumskeptic said...

David- you are very correct.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

100% wrong doing by her friend

I concur with you wholeheartedly!

Just me :D