A beggar once came to the city of Kovna and collected a large sum of money from the residents. The people of the town soon found out that he was an impostor; he really was a wealthy man. The city council wanted to make an ordinance prohibiting beggars from coming to Kovna to collect money. When R. Yitzchok Elchonon Specter, the Rabbi of Kovna, heard about the proposed ordinance, he came before the council and requested permission to speak. He told them that although he sympathized with them, he had an objection to raise. "Who deceived you, a needy person or a wealthy person? It was a wealthy person feigning poverty. If you want to make an ordinance, it should be to ban wealthy persons from collecting alms. But why make a ban against needy beggars?"
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. When do we make decisions and policies that reflect the logic of the townspeople?
2. How can we do a better job of acting on the reasoning of the Rabbi of Kovna?
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)