Friday, February 22, 2013

Saving Face: A Tax Deduction Loophole

Purim the springtime Jewish holiday celebrating the power of masking, is focused on events that happened in Persia long ago and retold in the Megillah Esther, Book of Esther. For just one day (unlike other much longer celebrations of the lunar year) up go the masks, ultimately victory is ours (whew!), and down they must come.

For Jews, the most notable instance of un-masking is when Moses, standing atop Mt. Sinai, demands of the Great Donor, "Show me your face ..." (Exodus 33:18) While he has been initiated as a tzadik through many hard trials, still Moses is "only" granted a view of the august back. Further, from the vantage of the schlep-weary minions below, the much-anticipated encounter takes place in a cloud, veiled from ordinary view. 

The gift of Purim is our lot to mask-up and taste life as the "other". Yet behind the mundane charade, the spiels and noisemakers, Purim is a holiday of giving shalach monos, gifts of good cheer and food. It is no surprise, that masking and giving are brought together in one celebration.

The mask has its good points; it enables us to “save face”. We hold that the highest form of charity is when the donor and recipient are anonymous to each other.

Freud as Freud
Fraud as Freud?** 
Too often, however, we act / hope / pray that, even just this one time, the ubiquitous someone else will provide the support for those in need or organizations we deem necessary to keep the world in a more beautiful balance. After all, isn’t it their turn to go up the mountain? Through the masks, we still only see ourselves*. The heart knows no disguise.

This Purim, whomever you see reflected in the mirror – yourself, anonymous, a superhero from another galaxy or even Queen Esther, make a deduction in his / her / its name to your favorite nonprofit ... it’s still tax deductible.

Chag Sameach! Happy Festival!

*Channeling and projecting the Inner Siggy. Marias Bustamante


And remember,
No Matter What
Don't Forget to Ask for the Money!

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