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Health, Nutrition & Torah: Bo

| January 20, 2010

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

The Text:
12:3-5, 8-10 Speak to the whole community of Israel and say that on the tenth of this month each of them shall take a lamb to a family, a lamb to a household.  But if the household is too small for a lamb, let it share one with a neighbor who dwells nearby, in proportion to the number of persons:  you shall contribute for the lamb according to what each household will eat.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a yearling male; you make take it from the sheep or from the goats  … They shall eat the flesh that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  Do not eat any of it raw, or cooked in any way with water, but roasted–head, legs, and entrails–over the fire.  You shall not leave any of it over until morning: if any of it is left until morning, you shall burn it.

The Context:
Nine plagues have fallen on Egypt and God instructs Moses to prepare the people for the final plague, death of the firstborn.  God tells Moses and Aaron to prepare for the first month of the year.

What it Means for Advocates:
There was a time in the history of humankind that people interacted much more around food.  When people did not have ovens in their homes, communities constructed ovens in a central location and everyone shared in the responsibility so that all could have bread.

Today we are more isolated from our neighbors. Often, we depend on federally funded programs to feed the people in our community in need.  One such mechanism is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).  This program gives supplemental food packages to new mothers, low-income women who are pregnant or breast feeding, children under the age of six, and low-income seniors.  According to Feeding America, 88% of CFSP residents are low-income elderly people.

Only 32 states and the District of Columbia participate in the CFSP program.  This supplement is not necessarily available statewide. In a time when more and more families are in need of food, fewer households and individuals are able to receive CFSP aid.

Learn about the appropriations and budgeting process in the federal government.  Call your senators and representatives and urge them to continue funding this important program.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post a comment below & keep the discussion going!

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