Ask The Fifth Question: Why on this night are millions of people still going hungry?
Passover is a magical time when we gather with family and friends to retell the story of our people’s freedom from bondage. We read from a prayer book, perform rituals that are thousands of years old, and eat. We eat A LOT. Many of us eat far more than we should, but the food is so delicious, it’s nearly impossible to resist. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have that luxury.
Hunger in America is at an epidemic level, despite how it might seem at first glance. 50 million Americans – including 17 million children – struggle to put enough nutritious food on the table every day. Hungry people live in every community in the country and come in all colors, shapes and sizes. They wrestle with impossible choices no one should have to make: buy my daughter’s asthma medication or feed my family? Whose turn is it to eat: the children or the adults?
America is a nation of abundance and wealth, and Jews are a people dedicated to fighting on behalf of the vulnerable. How could this injustice possibly happen here?
There is another way – an end to hunger is within our reach. Early in the seder we say, “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat.” More than an invitation to join us at the dinner table, we at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger see these words as a rallying cry – a call to do more to help those who so desperately need it; to fight for effective government policies that promote the health and security of everyone in our nation; to provide access to resources that allow people to pick themselves up and build (or rebuild) their lives; to give every man, woman and child a chance not only to live their lives, but to thrive.
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