Pick one. Any one. You can save a life.
Last month, I won the lottery, (not the grand prize; something in the six-figure range). The trouble is, I don’t want to tell my friends. I am 22 and single. I’m worried that if my friends find out that I have all this money they will start to treat me like an ATM machine. Still, I feel bad about not being completely open with them. Am I wrong for keeping this a secret?
Sincerely, Lottery Winner
Dear Lottery Winner,
Welcome to the ranks of the Rich and Frustrated. You are not the only lottery winner who has either been pursued or ruined by friends turned schnorrers(spongers). There are numerous stories of winners who have been bombarded by requests for monetary handouts and soon-forgotten loans. These people have either lost their fortunes or their friends as a result.
STILL, DON’T LET THAT POSSIBILITY DAMPEN YOUR RIGHT TO CELEBRATE!
You ask if you should tell your friends that you won big. I say yes! Let them share in your joy. Why do we invite hundreds of people to our weddings and bar mitzvahs? Why do we vacation in the same places as friends and relatives? Because true joy should be shared with others.
You do have every justifiable reason to be cautious, though. Myadvice would be to allocate a portion of your winnings as “giveaway” money. It could be any amount that you feel is reasonable (after all, it is your money). Be realistic, but practical. Put the money meant for loans into an account and consider it spent.Don’t forget to allocate a portion to charity (10% as the Torah recommends) and invest the balance in a solid portfolio for your future family. Once your allocated funds are distributed, you have the right to decline further requests with a simple “I would love to help, but….”.
Our Sages tell us – ha’moseef yoseefu lo– the more one helps, the more Hashem will help him. That said, use your best judgment in helping your fellow man.
Good luck and congratulations!
A close family friend is a huge Donald Trump supporter. He tries to convince everyone he meets that Trump is the answer to all our country’s problems and he has even started to volunteer for the Trump campaign. While I don’t like to get into politics with friends, how should one go about broaching such a sensitive subject?
Sincerely, Staying Out of Politics
Dear Staying Out of Politics,
Gd Bless America! Land of the Free and Home of the Mezhnoons. In my humble opinion, never before in modern history have the many produced so few capable candidates. That is not to say that they don’t each have their good points, but it seems clear to the informed electorate that their downsides significantly outweigh their upsides.
Shelomo Hamelech tells us that “The heart of the King is in the hands of Hashem”. We have no idea what the future will bring with any of the three top contenders. All more or less embrace values antithetical to the Jewish people, all equivocate on their support of Israel and each one will change the economic health of America in ways that will negatively affect its Jewish population. It is quite clear that the Yad of Hashemis controlling the future destiny of America and, as always, the rest of the world. The fact that we are confronted with a choice between a capitalist, a socialist, and a communist is unprecedented in American politics.
My advice is to let your friend prattle on campaigning for the candidate of his choice. It doesn’t matter, really – because in the end our next President will be the one Hashem wants for America, Israel, and the Jews.