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Nice little kiddush Hashem

Guest post by Eliyahu Fink

I just bumped into one of my (Jewish) Law School professors and he told me something worth sharing.

He was reading an article about the Japan disaster fund. Donations are coming in from all over the world. In the article, a Japanese government official was quoted [paraphrase] with this little gem:

Why do so many people send donations of $18? It’s such a strange number for a donation.

(HT Tin Man for the source: NY Times)

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Anonymous March 22, 2011, 11:29 AM

    Actual quote: “On occasion, there was a donation of $18. It seemed an odd figure to Mr. Sakurai, until he learned that it meant the donor was probably Jewish. Jews often make charitable contributions in multiples of 18. In the Hebrew alphabet, letters have numerical equivalents. Eighteen represents “chai,” Hebrew for “life.” “

  • Raizy March 22, 2011, 11:46 AM

    Oh, I love this story!

  • David G March 22, 2011, 1:51 PM

    It’s not a “paraphrase” it’s a “misquote”. Nowhere does it imply in the article that “so many” people donated $18. It IS a kiddush hashem, let’s not turn it into anything less by overstating it. In other words, there’s little reason to paraphase when the original quote is available.

    • Yochanan March 23, 2011, 5:45 PM

      I agree on the misquote part.

      However although it may have not been “so many” it was enough for Mr. Sakurai to take notice.

  • Chris_B March 23, 2011, 8:24 AM

    http://www.japanjewishrelief.com/ is local here in Japan and is going to providing food and needed supplies to those affected by the quake and tsunami. Within the first few days of the disaster they were able to provide freshly baked bread to people who would otherwise have just a cup of rice a day.

  • Devil's Advocate March 23, 2011, 7:55 PM


    Here’s another great story of the boundless generosity the Israelis hold in their hearts for Japan.

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