This week we celebrate a momentous occasion in the life of our congregation—twenty years since the founding of the Beth Emet Soup Kitchen. Since then, thousands of meals have been lovingly cooked and served weekly in a warm and hospitable environment. Even when the building was being renovated and we had limited use of the building during COVID, our dedicated soup kitchen volunteers found ways to make sure that our guests received a hot meal for dinner and a bag lunch for the next day. The dedication and commitment of so many volunteers to making our guests feel welcomed and serving them delicious and nutritious food is quite extraordinary.
In this week’s Torah portion, we meet the progenitor of our faith—our forefather, Abraham, who is known in Jewish tradition as embodying the quality of chesed—boundless love. When he sees three wayfarers wandering near his tent, he warmly greets them, washes their feet, and invites them into his and Sarah’s tent for a meal. Abraham and Sarah exemplify the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim—welcoming guests.
Our soup kitchen volunteers have followed the example of Abraham and Sarah by offering gracious hospitality. I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments and of our congregation that has supported this endeavor in a myriad of ways.
Tonight during Kabbalat Shabbat services, we will offer our gratitude and blessings to our soup kitchen volunteers, and on March 19, we will have a full-blown celebration of the soup kitchen and ensure that it will serve our community well into the future.
Learn more about the creation of the Beth Emet soup kitchen from Jessie Macdonald.
May the model of the Beth Emet Soup Kitchen inspire us to be hospitable and loving, and may all who hunger find sustenance and be free from want.