What Shavous Teaches Us At The Masbia Soup Kitchen Network
By Laura Allen
We celebrate the day where all Jews stood at Mount Sinai 1312 BCE, when all kosher laws came into effect and they found themselves without food. All of the food they had became non-kosher and they needed to start their pantry from scratch. The first easy, go-to food was milk and dairy, so that's why we celebrate Shavuos with eating a dairy meal. This means eating dairy reminds us of a time when we had very little to eat.
The holiday of Shavous has many more take-aways that remind us to take care of those in need of food. The book of Ruth is read on Shavous. It starts with the story of a family that moved away during a time of need, a famine, to avoid sharing with the needy. It ends with the birth of the kingdom of David, that was only made possible by an act of charity, where Boaz allowed those in need to roam his fields and glean it, to collect food. One of the collectors, Ruth, eventually became his wife.
At Masbia, we internalize these teachings, and bring it forward thousands of years, by distributing food ahead of the holiday and being open during the holiday. In honor of the holiday of Shavuos, Masbia distributed extra large packages to families in need that included dairy, meat, and lots of raw ingredients for the holiday. Masbia cooked and packed up holiday meals for those who cannot cook to take home. Masbia of Boro Park is open during the holiday, serving both meat and dairy meals. All of this is made possible by people who also internalize the teachings of Shavous and sponsor food at Masbia.
“People might remember the scene of the long lines in front of our facilities and the large deliveries of food - especially dairy food - before Shavous from three years ago. What they don’t know is that last week we sent out more than 3,000 deliveries through the DoorDash delivery systenm, which means we are probably serving way more families now, it’s just in a way more dignified manner with less commotion”, said Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia. “Another difference is that the Government was very generous with food during that time, which helped us supplement charity dollars. Now that those supplements are gone, we are way more reliant on plain old, basic charity from people to get all the food necessary to feed the needy”, he continued. For more information about Masbia, go to masbia.org