Thank G-d for Hungry Man Dinners! They come in handy when you've cooked for 110 guests but 128 show up at your door for dinner. The line-up outside could have been mistaken for rush tickets to Springsteen! One hundred guests arrived within 12 minutes of our opening the doors. Our gentle security man, Mike, told new arrivals we were full; go to Centenary Church, a block away, but when Centenary ran out of food, Alicia started sending people back to us. Somehow we stretched the DELICIOUS cumin flavoured red lentil soup, pineapple chicken, roasted chicken, Strubs pickles, tossed salad and vegetable kugal. I know... we just got our guests to learn to say latkes, when we spring "kugal" on them. Didn't matter what it was called, they loved it. Way to go Miriam for your wonderful idea. It was a lot of effort, but well worth it.
My little pal, Jayson, 7, calls Tuesday night at OOTC " Cindy's Restaurant". As I mentioned at prayer time with our guests, with 70 committed volunteers, the restaurant name would be very long, but you all deserve recognition for your effort.
In last week's parshah, Torah portion, Abraham wanted, regardless of the pain he was experiencing, to open his home to visitors and those in need. G-d sent three angels dressed as travellers. They were completely spiritual beings who did not and could not eat the meal that Abraham provided to them, but they pretended to eat the food. Why didn't G-d just send real travellers so that Abraham's efforts preparing a gourmet meal weren't wasted? Well, we are taught that the welcoming and feeding of guests is not judged on the completion of the mitzvah (good deed), but rather on the effort. "Abraham understood that we all have to make the effort. We need to reach out to help, feed, greet and assist people with their physical needs. But it's not our job to finish the task, it's our job to put in the effort." Rabbi Avram Rothmans
Last night, our best efforts to prepare a perfectly lavish dinner, resulted in some people eating Hungry Man dinners. Way to go, everyone!
See you next week when we are going green! (Not the Incredible Hulk! Green, think: environment!)
Will miss all of you till then,