"Yankel the Cheapskate" Yiddish Folktale
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"Yankel The Cheapskate" would not give money to anyone, for any reason. It didn't matter how important the cause; no one could crack him. He just wouldn't contribute. One day, Yankel was crossing the river in a small boat. Suddenly, a huge storm breaks out, and his boat capsizes. Luckily, another boat approached. The sailor calls out to him: "Give me your hand!! Give me your hand!" Yankel can barely hear him over the strong winds and the roaring waves. He hears only one word over and over: "Give, give..." And good old Yankel can't help himself. He yells back: "No. I don't give. I don't give." Again: "Yankel, give me your hand! Give me your hand!" And again, Yankel screams: "Never. I don't give." Finally, in desperation, the rescuer yells, "Yankel, take my hand." And Yankel says: "Oh take? Sure."
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What is the moral of this story, especially if Yankel survives only by taking?

2. It is said that one must take to truly give. Is this true?

3. Do we ever give without also taking something?

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Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)