- Shira Cohen
Why Doesn't God Feed the Poor?
It is not too rare that we stumble upon homeless or hungry people while going about our daily lives. One might ask, why doesn’t G-d directly help them? Why does he command us to do it?
Think about it like this: you know a family who is in need of food. In order to help them, you send them a check in the mail, but it never gets to them. You then try ordering them a meal online, but it goes to the wrong person. You set up a grocery delivery for them, but the truck never shows up. Did you try to help? Of course. Although your intentions were right, you were let down by the system. You relied on others to do their part, and they let you down.
This system that G-d has created is called tzedakah. Although many translate this word to “charity," that’s not quite the meaning. The literal meaning of the word tzedakah is actually “justice."It is our job to pass on the wealth and blessing that God has given us to others as well.
G-d always wants to help. He created a world with all the resources we need to feed every mouth. We have enough money, love, and time to invest in others. It is our responsibility to make sure that the needy are stable and are not left hungry.
Now, if we have all the resources, then why are there still hungry people in this world? Well, that’s because we haven’t been doing our job. If we don’t deliver the food, then no one will receive it. It isn’t G-d's fault, it is ours. Although G-d could easily do the job himself, that defeats the purpose of our creation. G-d put us in this world to bring kindness and generosity. He wants us to share what we have with others.
Food isn’t all we need in life. We need meaning too. In order to give us a life of meaning, G-d gives us the opportunity to give to others. When you help someone more needy than yourself, you are also being nourished. You might be giving them food, but what you receive is much greater. You’re receiving a gift of purpose.
To conclude, it is always important to make time for the poor and lend them a hand. Although sometimes it might seem like G-d is not helping, we must remember that he has already done his part. It is now our turn to do ours. We must unite as Jews and bring kindness into the world!