Hunger plagues all aspects of our society. Despite being one of thewealthiest nations in the world, 1 in 9 Americans (more than 40 million individuals) – including over 11 million children – live in households that are food insecure. There are many mitzvot in Torah that teach we are to share with those in need. In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, we are reminded of the obligation to “tithe.” In biblical times, tithing meant that each Israelite was to set aside a tenth of their yield for “the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow…” (Deut. 26:12). Our obligation to share the bounty of our lives with those less fortunate continues to be an important Jewish value.
In these past few months, food banks and pantries have seen tremendous increases in needs. If you are able, please consider a contribution to any of the worthwhile organizations that feed the hungry. These include Mazon, a Jewish Response to Hunger https://mazon.org, Island Harvest https://www.islandharvest.org, Hatzilu http://www.hatzilurescue.org, and The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) https://the-inn.org, which operates the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen, the largest soup kitchen on Long Island serving over 62,000 meals annually.
Sharing, no matter how much or how little we have, is a responsibility of living in community.