Leading Rabbi Blasts Phone Charity Scam 'Crooks'

When an unknown solicitor – live or via a recording – calls up asking for money, just hang up, says Rabbi Benzion Mutsafi.

Moshe Cohen ,

Charity box (illustrative)
Charity box (illustrative)
Flash90

When an unknown solicitor – live or via a recording – calls you up asking for money, just hang up, says Rabbi Benzion Mutsafi, a well-known Yeshiva head and senior rabbi in the Sephardic community. Known to the Israeli public for a weekly program in which he discusses matters of Jewish law on Israel Radio, Mutsafi said that the “charities” that call people unsolicited are all scams.

In recent years, the “auto dialer” has become very popular among charities, which dial number after number, playing a recording promising blessings and benefits to those who give generously. The vast majority of people just hang up, but for those who are tempted to give the “deal” - charity in exchange for blessings – a try, Rabbi Mutsafi says “just don't bother.”

“They are crooks trying to fool people,” he said. “Every week I hear about new organizations doing this, calling people and bothering them, and implying punishment if they do not donate. They are all thieves. There are all sorts of 'institutions' like this ripping off the public. It's scandalous.”

There are plenty of legitimate places for people to give charity – the needs are many, said Rabbi Mutsafi. How to find them?

“One just has to open his eyes,” he said. “Look for poor people, they are unfortunately not hard to find, and give them directly. Do not give any of these supposed institutions, they are very low people worthy of derision,” he added.



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