So here's the story. There's this one meshulach who comes to my door every couple of months, asking for money to support poor families in Montreal and Tosh, a chasidic 'burb just north of Montreal.
He comes in full regalia, with the black felt hat with a round upturned brim, the long curly peyod down past his shoulders and the long black coat. He refuses to speak Hebrew because it's loshon kodesh and he is very much against Zionism of any kind because the Satmar Rebbe says Zionism is bad and if he said it, Moshe Rabeinu, a"h, might as well have put it into Sefer Devarim.
So for a long time I've been giving him cheques. Fine, I have a principle that anyone who comes with an open hand gets it filled. But then something happened.
We had an Israeli family in town and he knocked at their door too. Before giving him anything, the Israeli man asked him a simple question: If a Dati Leumi family came to you for help, would you give them money?
The answer was a simple: "No, Zionism is wrong and we believe these people are sinning by supporting it so we would not give them money."
Now, kudos to the guy for his honesty, especially for telling it to an Israeli and naturally the guy closed his wallet and told the meshulach to get lost but it got me thinking, seeing as I'm a Dati Leumi and all.
The Torah gives us two very difficult mitzvos to perform: thou shalt not revenge and thou shalt not take a grudge.
On the face of it, the value of these mitzvos to help create a functional society cannot be overstated. But did you ever stop and think about how hard not holding a grudge can be?
Think about my case, for example. Knowing that if our positions were reversed, he would leave me to die in the gutter I should still give him the cheque the next time he comes. After all, to withhold it would be saying "I'm not going to help you because you wouldn't help me", clearly a case of taking revenge.
The alternative, to hand him the cheque and say "Here, I'm a better Jew than you because even though I think you and your Satmar friends are totally on the wrong track and a bunch of sonei Yisrael, I will still help you." That would be not holding a grudge.
But then what do I do, knowing what I know about him? I can't simply sit there, listen to his shpeil and not think about how giving him money shows that I'm better than him.
So I'm asking: any suggestions?