Good Morning, OOTC Volunteers.
We are off to a delicious start and I thank all of you for your compassion, smiles, time and energy. In the month of November, you fed exactly 650 guests, a number far greater than any other year. There are so many new guests and it has been nice to reconnect with our “regulars.” They continue to come back because I am sure they are in need. Many look uncomfortable and embarrassed at first, but because of your spiritual abundance and social capital they soon fit in.
“In the Jewish tradition, we say that kindness, social exchange, is greater than charity, financial gifts. Kindness can be exchanged between rich and poor; it is class blind...We cannot eat kindness, but we can be fed by kind people.” Andrea Cohen-Kiener
One guest said last night to Mark, “It’s hard to feel poor after a meal like this…. Best meal I’ve eaten in years.” Another, “Tuesday is the best night of the week.” And another, “My stomach is rejoicing.”
Our Hanukkah celebration last night consisted of vegetable barley soup and buns, roast brisket, 350 latkes with applesauce, hot veggies, tossed salad, and cupcakes covered with sky-high frosting topped off with foil covered chocolate gelt! “There was nothing left.” Ah, that familiar adage once again.
In the Hanukkah story, Jews are linked to the Maccabees not just through common bloodlines, but through common purpose. While they found the courage to stand their ground and speak their minds, we continue to raise our voices against injustice. And while they discovered in oil a miracle of hope, we strive to bring this miracle to people who are most in need. So many people in our midst, each of them Maccabees, each of them struggling for their future – go hungry every day. With your help, food will be their oil, their fuel and faith on the path to a brighter tomorrow.
Thank you, thank you, everyone. Tonight, as we light the last candle on the hanukkiah, please take in the brilliant glow, the brightness, the warmth and think about the difference you make and the miracle of Out of the Cold.
See you soon,