It amazes me how quickly the year flies by and now with the Thanksgiving and Chanukah season right around the corner, it reminds me how grateful I am for my family and friends, while at the same time keeping in mind those who are less fortunate.
October ends each year with the trick or treat for hunger program, collecting food for the Jewish Federations Jerry Doliner food pantry. This year was no exception; we had another successful food drive, (Thank you to all who helped!), but couldn’t help wondering if it was enough. This year was an especially hard year with Harvey, Irma, Maria and all their relatives, and the need for aid in so many places…and it continues. All this just brought to mind that as Jews we have the awesome opportunity and responsibility to watch out for each other.
In Torah, we read about Cain and Abel and the famous question; “Am I my brother’s Keeper?” The answer plain and simple is an unequivocal and resounding yes… yes, we are. We have many choices to make each and every day, some simple and others not, but none the less; they are there to be made. It seems that at this time of year in particular, as holidays approach-no matter whether they are Jewish or secular –we all seem to get this extra urge for giving. Not that this is a bad thing, but why does it take a holiday or holiday season to get us in the mood to give or help others?
Throughout the year we have many opportunities to answer the question “Am I my brother’s Keeper?” and set an example for others to follow. It can be getting out and do some social action project, or volunteering around the Temple in any capacity; joining the choir; getting involved in an activity that is being run by Sisterhood or Brotherhood and supporting it; to getting involved with something such as the Jewish Heritage Festival planning.
An opportunity to help and give is always out there…. for instance, I am collecting gift cards for underprivileged teens again this year and encourage your support. If you can find a way to donate a gift card ($20.00 value) to a place a teen would like, or donate the money and I will purchase them. They will once again be handed out through the Jewish Federation helping teens in our area have a good holiday and realize they haven’t been forgotten.
These are but a few ways “We are our Brothers (and Sisters) keepers”… What will you choose?
B’Ydidut- In Friendship