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Will Just-Giving Save From Death (Again)?


Wealth will not avail on a day of wrath,
yet tzedakah / just-giving will save from death. — Proverbs 11:4

img-handsThe words I wrote nearly a year ago reverberate today:

"We mourn the deaths of all whose lives have been cut short by hatred and violence. For all who survive to carry the wounds, we pray for healing and recovery.

"The tragedies are relentless and overwhelming — yet we cannot afford the luxuries of numbness or despair. No matter how heartbreaking the situation, there are always real, practical options for sharing our time and money, for bringing people together across differences to affirm our shared humanity."

Ted Jackson - NOLA.com - Times-PicayuneIn these painful times, it's tempting to hide behind analyses and arguments. But as our ancient sages remind us, actions in good faith speak louder than words — and freedom means doing what we can with whatever we have. READ MORE

The imperatives of just-giving — simple, regular, and fair — have never been more vital. Learn how to put just-giving into action!

In our commitment to just-giving, WAYS OF PEACE donates at least 10 percent of net staff compensation to other organizations that uphold our core mandates of promoting justice and kindness across lines of diversity.

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The "Holding Room" — and the Choices We Face


It was an empty office on one floor behind the nursing station, cooled by a single air conditioner. It was called the "holding room.” As a chaplain, I sometimes accompanied the bodies that were held there.

Butterfly HandsThe holding room was the place where deceased residents were brought, to be picked up by funeral homes — or to be sent to the medical examiner’s morgue, if funeral arrangements had not been made by a designated time limit.

Recent media coverage has heightened public awareness of Hart Island, the largest mass burial ground in the United States. Some of those buried on Hart Island are people whose time ran out — in a "holding room" or elsewhere — before next of kin could arrange for their funerals. They then became vulnerable to the general practice of using (presumably) unclaimed bodies without consent for anatomical education and research.

As the New York State legislature seeks to curb this practice, we can leverage our own powers of choice to honor the dead as well as improve health care for the living. READ MORE