EDITORIAL: Reaching out to heal the world, wherever


By The Boiling Point Editorial Board

When 12 volunteers from B’nai David Judea Congregation flew to Arizona last month to welcome 30 families who were awaiting asylum hearings, they were following one of Judaism’s most fundamental values — Ve’ahavta le’re’echa kamocha, Vayikra 19:18 — in a particularly hands-on way.

They fed and washed them, and returned a sense of humanity to the otherwise cold and systematic arrival of would-be immigrants to the United States.

Not so long ago, some of our relatives arrived on Ellis Island after escaping pogroms in Europe. Others escaped to avoid the Holocaust, and some escaped religious persecution in Iran. We know what it is to be in the shoes of new arrivals, and so have extra responsibility to extend a hand to those both similar to and drastically different from ourselves.

The B’nai David volunteers, who included parents of more than a dozen Shalhevet students or alumni, provided some of that comfort in a day of smiles, food, and warmth. But Shalhevet students needn’t take a 5:15 a.m. plane to accomplish such kindness.

There are 50,000 homeless people in Los Angeles, many of them walking distance from school and all in need of shelter and basic necessities. There are also hungry families to whom we can deliver meals for Shabbat, or Meals on Wheels for shut-ins, or various student chesed initiatives.

Even giving tzedakah makes a huge impact. People who are suffering or poor need supplies that can’t necessarily be delivered by hand. Some need a social worker; the Jewish Family Service provides social workers and needs donations always. So do countless groups that help people struggling with challenges to their mental or physical health.

January 16th saw a remarkable example of the Jewish community reaching beyond its own, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. It should empower those of us who were there and who were not to care more and do more.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the members of the Editorial Board, which consists of the Co-Editor-in-Chiefs,  Web Editor-in-Chief, Community Editor, Art and Design Director and Faculty Advisor. We welcome submissions for signed editorials from members of the Shalhevet Community, and the final decision about printing them is made by the Editorial Board. Submissions should be emailed to [email protected].

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