By Jen Grossman.
Today I’m feeling humbled and grateful. The two Seders I attended this weekend were beautiful, meaningful and the food was plentiful and delicious. As always, I left with my belly full, and Said to myself “why did I eat so much, I’m never eating again” Tonight I realized how truly lucky I am that I never worry if there is food for my family. We experienced a 3rd Seder unlike any seder I had ever been to before. There were 300 in attendance with 50 volunteers held at my synagogue Holy Blossom Temple. Every year, at our Seder we say the words “may all who are hungry, come and eat” and we don’t really give it a second thought. Tonight, those words had a profound impact on me and especially my daughter Lexi.
We helped serve and also shared a Seder meal with some special members of our community, many of whom were in fact hungry, who spend many nights on our streets in Toronto. Organizations like Mazon, and Ve’ahavta, and others, as well as the support from congregations, personal donations, and of course, the volunteers who participate, that help make evenings like tonight possible. We are so very lucky to be on the giving end. I share this little story, because until this year in preparation for Lexi’s bat mitzvah, we as a family really hadn’t volunteered our time like this. There are so many wonderful opportunities for our families to get involved and give back. My eyes have been opened and I am forever changed!
Thank you Rabbi Helfman for encouraging us to participate last night. Lexi was really moved by the whole experience. She has very strong Jewish values and I think we are properly setting her up for a life of long term commitment to her community. She has just left for New York for a special trip with my mom who is one of the strongest influences in instilling these values in Lex.
Every Shabbat we put tzedakah in a box at my parents to give to Mazon at the end of every year, and last night Lex and I got to really understand where that money goes.
Thanks again. We were honoured to be a part of it.