By: Aedan Sara O’Connor
In Judaism, similar to other major religions, giving Tzedekah, charity, is a commandment. But not all Mitzvot (good deeds which Jews are commanded to do) are equal. A great Jewish scholar and rabbi, Maimonides, posited that there were eight levels of charity.
The lowest level was to give begrudgingly. The level above that is to give willingly but not enough and every level above includes giving willingly. The next level is to give willingly upon being asked. The levels above respectively are giving when both the donor and recipient know who each other are, giving when the recipient is aware of the donor’s identity but the donor does not know the recipient’s identity, then the inverse, and then giving when both the donor and recipient are unaware of each other’s identity. The highest form of mitzvot in Judaism is to give in a dignified manner; to help others help themselves. This can be giving somebody an interest free loan or training them with job skills to utilize in the workforce.
Religious Jews (most who agree with Maimonides’ ladder) tend to vote conservative; in 2016 over four times as many Orthodox Jews voted for Trump as voted for Clinton. This is because the Republican view on government support tends to align with the highest form of Tzedekah. Take welfare, the left’s magnum opus. It involves working citizens bitterly paying taxes to subsidize those who are unable or unwilling to work. This is the lowest form of mitzvot and arguably not mitzvot at all, as taxes are an obligation taken at gunpoint.
Social security was first passed in the United States in 1935, as a response to the economic disparities during the Great Depression. It was drastically expanded in the 1960s as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. This, in effect, created a cycle of poverty among America’s welfare recipients. Where before the American attitude was “the poor were temporarily embarrassed millionaires” there are now “welfare queens” and systematic abuses. The welfare recipients often live in subsidized housing so the children growing up in those communities seldom have role models who work. The rate of single motherhood skyrocketed as welfare disincentivized stable families, disproportionately affecting minority communities. Single motherhood is the highest predictor of criminality in the children and not surprisingly the criminality rates in the cities with high welfare rates, skyrocketed. If welfare were designed based on Maimonides’ ladder it would be devoted to “work-fare” as in order to receive welfare, the recipients would need to work. It would be the top level as it would help others help themselves and show them a way to be self-sufficient.
The current welfare system is contrary to Jewish values and in desperate need of reform.
Aedan Sara O’Connor is the founder and CEO of Dame Right. While she is an American patriot, she was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. An avid political junkie and nerd, she created Dame Right when she saw a void to be filled in feminine conservative media. Her previous work has been featured in Daily Wire, The National Post, Rebel Media, Toronto Sun and Jerusalem Post.