Walking Towards Freedom - Let all who are hungry come and eat

Early on in the Seder we declare 'Let all who are hungry come and eat' - though as we say it around a cosy table in our homes or synagogues, it's unlikely anyone going hungry outside will hear (unless, as a friend did one year, you shout out of the window at bemused passers by 'anyone hungry and want to join us for dinner?'. There were no takers but had there have been they would have needed to wait through another hour or so of seder before dinner!)
Poverty and hunger are enslaving to those who suffer them, and they are not only parts of distant, societies. Poverty is a reality for many Britons too, and as we are in the grip of cut backs and austerity budgets, more of societies vulnerable are struggling to make ends meet.
As The New York Times reported yesterday, it is organisations like synagogues (and I know Churches and others too) who are having to pick up and support where previously government did.
This Pesach, we can help those who are hungry to eat in many ways, rather than just speaking the words at seder. Contributing to hardship funds such as those at the Synagogue mentioned in the NY Times can make a direct difference to those in need, as do lots of charities. Food parcels are also a really practical way of helping. WLS recently opened an Asylum seekers drop in centre in central London where food parcels are a regular feature, but also important are those who are offering their skills on a voluntary basis to help those in need stand on their own two feet.
This Pesach we need to think practically about how we free people from the chains of poverty, and see them through to independence and dignity.


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