I’ve had a goal to fit in some community service into my schedule. Even though that is part of the entire idea of being in Yerucham, I feel it important (as do most other Nativers) to contribute to society here a little bit. A few weeks ago, I talked to Elkana about different options, and he set me up with a soup kitchen run out of a high school in the German Colony (or near there somewhere). Last Thursday I went for the first time.
When we arrived, many people were sitting outside, waiting for it to be time to enter. We went in and Matan, who was sort of running the show that afternoon, showed us how things were working. I stood by a table and I went back and forth to the buffet to get them food. The meal was essentially meat, rice, and vegetables. There was also salad on the table. Some of the people were fairly needy, but this is a place where that should be warmly accepted – they’re hungry, they obviously had tzaros.
I felt that I would not have really done my job if I had not engaged in coversation with any of the people there. Most of the people there were elderly, and a lot of them had immigrated to Israel at some point or another in their lives. As a lot of people were wrapping up, there was a woman sitting at a table with nobody else, so I started to talk to her. Miriam has essentially lived in Jersualem her whole life (now in Gilo), but she came to Israel in 1948 from Morocco. That interested me a bit since we talked about Moroccan Jews and immigration in Hebrew a couple of years ago. We didn’t get too much into her background, but I told her what I was doing in Israel and such. It wasn’t the most profound of conversations, but it was good to engage with someone there.
I wish I did in such mitzvot more often. I look forward to returning there again.