The High Holy Days are a time when we are supposed to look inward and assess our conduct from the past year. Did we keep our promises? Did we treat everyone with the respect he/she deserves? Did we act compassionately and love unconditionally? Could we have done anything differently in order to yield a better result? Since the goal is to learn from our mistakes and commit to better decisions, then we must, by definition, judge our actions and ourselves.
But at no time – not even during the High Holy Days – are we supposed to judge others. That is one of the lessons of Vayikra Rabbah (34:4):
If the rich man says to the poor man, “Why do you not go and work and get food? Look at those hips! Look at those legs! Look at that fat body! Look at those lumps of flesh!” The Holy One says to the rich person, “It is not enough that you have not given him anything of yours and helped him out, but you must set an evil eye upon what I have given him.”
No one deserves to be hungry. And yet, millions of Americans and Israelis find themselves struggling to put enough nutritious food on the table. In the coming year, let’s judge each other less and commit to helping everyone who struggles with hunger. Donate to MAZON.
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- Blanca’s Story from THE NEW FACE OF HUNGER (pdf)
- Whitney’s Story from THE NEW FACE OF HUNGER (pdf)
- John’s Story from THE NEW FACE OF HUNGER (pdf)
- Quick Facts About Hunger in America (pdf)
- 8 Myths About Hunger in America (pdf)
- Hunger and Poverty Levels – national and state-by-state via Food Research and Action Center