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Please watch Nigel Savage’s 3-minute video:
Citing Leviticus 19:9-11, Nigel Savage, President & CEO of Hazon, reminds us that when it comes to food, Jewish tradition has always reflected generosity toward others:
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I the Lord am your God.”
A big part of eating Jewishly is about thinking of those in need. Mr. Savage points out how generosity is so completely entwined within Jewish culture, reminding us that at the Passover Seder, we are instructed to “Let all who are hungry come and eat.”
Mr. Savage expands upon the notion of generosity and food, suggesting that one way to eat generously is to be mindful of the land and the animals that provide our food. Being generous to the land means using those agricultural strategies that are not only good for us, but are also good for the land, so that it may continue producing food for future generations.
Being generous with food includes thinking generously about how we choose to grow our food. A growing number of Jews around the country have elected to start community gardens so that they may grow food for themselves and for others in their community who may be in need.
Many Jewish food traditions occur around the table as we come together to share a meal with the people we love. Saying a blessing before we eat gives us yet one more opportunity to think generously about ourselves, about the people around us, and about where our food comes from.
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