Deuteronomy 15:7-10 teaches us, "If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren...you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be."
This past Sunday, Hebrew SeniorLife opened its hand to 500 Jewish residents in the Greater Boston community with a holiday meal to support celebration of Rosh Hashana. Roughly 75 volunteers of all ages helped pack and deliver meals to homebound seniors and others needing food support.
And while the food was deeply appreciated by all of our recipients, it was the delivery experience that carried as much value for the seniors as for the volunteers. After a gentle knock at the door, many volunteers were greeted with grateful smiles and handfuls of Russian candies for the children to stuff in their pockets as a gesture of appreciation. Others were welcomed into peoples’ homes for conversation, often in broken English, or with the help of transliterated phrases on a Russian-English cheat sheet that was provided.
At HSL’s Simon C. Fireman Community in Randolph, nearly 100 independent senior living residents lined up to receive their holiday gifts, overjoyed with gratitude as they loaded dinner, soup, challah, apples and grape juice into bags to carry back to their apartments. Additional food was stored in the kitchen freezers to support residents who regularly seek food assistance as each month draws to a close.
HSL and our volunteer team performed a great mitzvah for this New Year. We will continue to open our hands and arms to seniors in need with physical and emotional sustenance. It is our mission. It is our joy.