I was invited to have dinner with Pinkus, an East India Jew. If my Hebrew was as bad as he claims his English is, I would be very happy! His wife worked hard all day to prepare a wonderful authentic Indian meal. The only thing that was odd was the table was set for just the men; there was no place for his wife or his children.
After all the food was on the table he said the blessing and handed me the first platter of food. I asked what about his family, who had served us. He asked, “It is o.k. for them to sit with us?” Yeshi and I replied, “Oh please.” With His wife and 4 children sitting with us I had the most wonderful meal and conversation.
However, in the course of the meal we I learned some disturbing news. Apparently the house we were eating in was just a rental. He had a wonderful house at one time but he had been swindled out of it by a shyster who came to town. The man had promised people that with his investment skills and his economic background, they would see a substantial return on their investment if they mortgaged their home and gave him the money. I guess I don’t need to tell you the rest… Pinkus was the last one he swindled before he disappeared.
Pinkus has studied Torah all his adult life; basically he has never held a 9-5 job in his life. His family helped him buy his home and he receives a stipend from the rabbi he studies with some assistance from the country as well, that’s just what they do here for those who take Deuteronomy 6 seriously.
Now the meal took on a whole different taste to me; not only was it a sacrifice of time but of resources as well. As Pinkus insisted that all the food must be eaten before we left, I was trying to figure out in my head how we could help our gracious host when we already have a long waiting list of people in need of help.
To add insult to injury, with the economic situation in the world the donations to the rabbi that he studies under have dropped off. I guess I don’t need to tell you what that means for Pinkus… He realizes he needs to find a job but with no transportation, no real marketable skills and a rabbi that says if he is not studying full time, the 2000 shekels stipend ($ 575) will be cut as well. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
“So here is where you ask for money?” NO, that is not what this is about. We help feed people and until the economy here changes and people are able to find a work, I pray the L-RD will continue to allow us to be His delivery boys.
You have heard it said, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” I believe we have been given a plan of putting people to work and at the same time supplement the income of those with little or no marketable skills.
Where the ball stops rolling is how to market this product in the States to a potential audience of 5-10 million users and the possibility of hundreds of thousands of outlets for the product. Ten people here in Sderot could become gainfully employed; but we need help with the marketing end of it.
Are you or do you know someone in marketing that is willing to let the L-RD use you to help those in Sderot that are in need of an income? Are you willing to become part of helping teach someone how to fish? If so, contact [email protected]; we would love to talk to you about your participation in this project.