Passover food baskets distributed to Israelis in need.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For the third year in a row, Israel Prize laureate Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, the founder and dean of the Migdal Ohr educational network, brought a team of volunteers to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Monday to prepare Passover care packages for the poor and the needy.
Three large tables arranged in an open rectangle were piled high with products for the holiday, including toiletries, matza, oil, canned foods, potato flour, matza meal, rice, tea, coffee, wafers, sugar, salt, diapers, “Bamba” snacks and more. Among the volunteers were soldiers, members of President Reuven Rivlin’s staff, black-coated hassidim and youngsters from Migdal Ohr institutions.
The youngsters and some of the adults wore white sweatshirts emblazoned front and back with the presidential insignia and the Migdal Ohr logo with the words “Hag Saveah LeYeladim” (a fulfilling festival for children).
Some stood behind the tables while others formed a human conveyor belt, moving boxes from one product to the next, putting one of each item inside until the end where the boxes were sealed.
At one point Grossman entered the room arm-in-arm with Rivlin, who took a box and, following the people ahead of him, filled it as he went along. Once he had filled one of the approximately 250 total boxes, he and Grossman briefly spoke.
Quoting from the Haggada, Grossman said: “Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat. Whoever is in need, let him come and conduct the Seder of Passover.”
In retelling the story of the exodus from Egypt, he said it was important to remember those of our brethren today who are hungry and needy and to provide them with the means for conducting a Seder.
Using President Rivlin as an example to those doing the mitzva (good deed), Grossman said, “He is the paradigm of the heart of Israel. He should continue for many years as the father of all the children of Israel.”
Rivlin responded by saying how wonderful it was to see such diversity among the volunteers and emphasizing that everyone at the President’s Residence was a proud partner with the Migdal Ohr network, just as they were proud to work all year round with other social-welfare and educational institutions.
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