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[KE CyberTorah] Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat

Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat



At the beginning of the Seder we open our doors and invite all who are hungry to come and eat. At this time of year as we celebrate freedom and remember a time of deprivation and slavery, we make a special effort to feed the hungry and to house the homeless. We were slaves in Egypt, starving and eating little but unleavened bread. We remember and we reach out today to those in need.

Most pressing right now are the over four million refugees from Ukraine. Like you, I have seen the pictures of devastation and violence. Russian forces have leveled entire towns. Civilian targets are hit and destroyed repeatedly, leaving formerly thriving areas reduced to dust and rubble. People have fled into Europe, the United States, and Israel.

I shall never forget you O Jerusalem…Just as the refugees after the destruction of the First Temple yearned to return, so too many of these refugees hope to return to Ukraine to rebuild. Like exiles in any era, they are lost, confused, strangers in a strange land where they sometimes do not speak the language or have a way to find work.

Masorti Olami, the international arm of our movement, has long been active in the Jewish communities of Ukraine. They have helped build synagogues and provided services for the elderly. They know the people and the communities there because they have been in them. They represent about 1/3 of the Jewish life of Ukraine.

To date, Masorti has been helping feed, clothe and house hundreds of Ukrainian refugees over the last few weeks of war. In particular, the Masorti Synagogue in Berlin has become an ersatz shelter and support center. They are overwhelmed by the need even as they have so graciously opened their Synagogue and homes to people in need.
 
In addition to active work with current refugees, Masorti is working with the Ukrainian community to look past the war and to rebuilding. God willing this war will end and when it does the rebuilding project will be enormous. Masorti is working with leaders of the community to prepare for renewing life and Jewish life in Ukraine when, God willing, the war ends.

We dreamed of a rebuilt Israel for millenia. The Seder is all about hoping against hope for a return to our homeland. This year, we can help the people of Ukraine and especially its Jewish community hold on to such a hope even as they experience violence and see their homes, Synagogues, restaurants and gyms leveled to the ground by this horrific and unjust war. Carol and I plan to donate to Masorti this year to help meet this need.  We want to be partners with Masorti in offering refuge now and hope for the future. What better way to make meaningful the words of the Seder, Let all who are hungry come and eat?

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi David Booth

Please note that CyberTorah will be on hiatus through August. I have a back surgery scheduled for May 9th and will be out for a few weeks. In the interest of being gentle with myself and prioritizing, I’m going to put this on pause for a bit. Thank you for understanding.

Mon, May 16 2022 15 Iyyar 5782