In the Middle Ages, there were public debates between Catholic and Jewish leaders. The time has come for Jews to have a new debate on significant differences between Jewish and Catholic ideas on economy.
The Pope, the leader of Catholics worldwide, issued a document in which he stressed the need to help poor people. His Holiness wrote that politicians must strive to guarantee all citizens dignified work, education, and health care. The way the politician does this is to use the powers of the state to take money from some people and give it to the poor.
Contrast this with Judaism. We Jews believe the highest form of charity is helping someone to help themselves. This is better than simply giving money to the poor. Let us give an example: Bill Gates gave vast sums of money to the poor in Africa. Had Gates followed Jewish principles, he would have built the computer and software industries in Africa with this same money. It is clear that far more people would benefit with the Jewish approach.
Today, American leaders seem to accept the Catholic principle of redistribution of money, taking from those who have it to give to those who do not. American Jews must rise up and publicly disagree with this evil notion, and say that the arguments supporting redistribution are false. Jews must say that since this idea is contrary to principles in the Hebrew Bible that America’s founders accepted as the basis for a democratic economic system, we must work together to vigorously challenge transforming America by redistribution of money.
Dr. Sanford Aranoff