The Lilith Blog 1 of 2

February 8, 2016 by

The Tzedakah Valentine

Do you feel, in your heart of hearts, that Cupid’s annual holiday glorifies everything that’s wrongly romanticized and commercialized about love? 

Not to worry! 
There’s someone who can make you feel better this Valentine’s Day.
His name is…Cupid.
I’m talking about Cupid from Roman mythology. 
Cupid’s Mom is Venus: the God of Love. She’s high-maintenance, codependent, with an ego that’s easily threatened and a big thing for negative payback. And that’s not enough? Venus is Cupid’s boss in the world’s first matchmaking service. His job is to hit her targets with arrows that induce states of passion. 
It’s a high-pressure job in a tough family business. And Cupid’s not that great at it. If you were an HR person doing a Myers-Briggs, you might decide the job of Cupid is best suited to another candidate, one who’s more T(hinking)- than F(eeling)-based. Trouble is? Cupid’s impulsive, distractible by nature. Which makes his aim, to put it kindly? Less than reliable.
This brings us to Cupid’s Dad. Depending on which version of his story you read, Cupid’s father was either a) Vulcan, a god, specializing in metal-smithing with a personality a lot like Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky movie or b) Mars, the god of War or c) no one at all.
So: back to you and me and Cupid’s Day as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. And the question: What’s to love here?
Buying frivolous stuff to show we care is, well…frivolous.
But Cupid really doesn’t care about bling. He’s too busy messing up Venus’s To Do List. He scratches himself with one of his own arrows and falls in love with someone he’s supposed to make unlovable. He falls for a woman from the wrong side of the divine-mortal divide, and risks everything in the name of a love bigger than himself.
And this is the point – excuse the pun – of Cupid’s Arrows of Love. It’s really about a caring, very human kind of bravery that no one else may ever see.
So, in the name of Cupid, how about doing some tzedakah to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?
Specifically: why not show your love by giving to your local food bank?
Times get tough for them in February when public attention to them wanes. And that’s when your love for giving can truly help.
Food is love, the saying goes. 
What better way to celebrate the holiday of love than by helping to feed a neighbor in need?

Sharon Glassman is a writer/performer and journalist living in Northern Colorado. Her “Lazy Person’s Book Club” audio romantic comedy, Blame It On Hoboken, resets the story of Cupid and Psyche in Sinatra’s hometown. She’s the author of Love, Santa (Grand Central), a how-to holiday book about helping kids in need at holiday-time for folks of all faiths.