By Geoffrey Paul
January 21, 2009
A plant, a bouquet, a bottle of wine or, maybe, for a change a basket of nuts and preserved fruits – what are you going to take this time to your friends/neighbours/family when you go for kiddush/lunch/dinner on Shabbat? How about taking them nothing at all, except yourselves, and this time donating the cost of the gift to one of those charities (which means all of them) now suffering badly from the recession in which we are immersed? I will bet that, over any weekend, a minimal 0.5per cent of London's estimated 250,000 Jews are eating away from home. If they are only averaging gifts worth £5-£8 per bottle, basket or what have you, my impoverished mathematics suggest there is a potential of well over half-a-million pounds available annually for charitable causes. Will you have the guts to be among the first to tell your hosts that you donated to charity rather than to them? In truth, might they not prefer this and a phone call or note after the event to tell them how delicious was the meal and/or how delightful the company? I think this might be loads better than taking them an offering they really did not appreciate but over which they had to cackle appreciatively when you turned up with it on their doorstep.