For millennia Jews have been witness to acts of senseless violence, hatred, and inhumanity. In some cases, it was the Jewish community which suffered directly. In all cases the holiness of the human spirit was diminished. Even two thousand years ago our Torah recognized that the plight of the needy is as eternal as our covenant with God, “since there will never cease to be needy ones from amongst your land, therefore I [Adonai] command you to open your hands to your brethren, to the poor and indigent in your land.”1 Even though poverty and suffering are not something that we can permanently solve, our Torah compels us to act in the face of the seemingly impossible. To be a Jew means that we must look at the enormity of the task and take action.
One of the ugliest ways poverty manifests itself is in hunger. Hunger is such a pernicious and existential threat that our great teacher Maimonides tells us that if a stranger asks us for food or water, we must provide it without question.2 It is intolerable that even a single person go hungry. Our eyes may glaze over when we confront the gut-wrenching statistics, but that is the wake-up call we need to take action. In Georgia alone, more than 164,000 children and more than 64,000 seniors turn to food pantries and meal service programs. Each week, the Atlanta Community Food Bank serves over 80,000 human beings.
Join me on February 25th, for the Hunger Walk where people from all walks of life in the Atlanta area will walk together to raise money and awareness to end hunger in our community and to support the people who work each day to feed the hungry. Your participation is not only a signal of your support for the community but a sign of your commitment to the work of tikkun olam, healing the world. Even though this work is vast and endless, we as Jews are supposed to look into the enormity of the task and get to work.
 Deuteronomy 15:11
 Mishnah Torah Laws of Tzedakah 7:6