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More than Sympathy

editor - 19 February 2020

Food is desperately needed for the poor in Israel. Over one in five people live below the poverty line. But even more invisible is the group of people who are just above the poverty line. Officially they are not ‘poor’, but in reality, they can’t, or can barely make ends meet. There are a lot of people who work multiple jobs and after having paid all their bills, are left with only a few shekels (one shekel is about 25 cents) a day to spend on food and clothing.

Homeless Yehudith, newly immigrated from Hungary to Israel, pulls her belongings in a shopping cart as she sits on a bench on Ben Yehuda street in the center of Jerusalem. March 27, 2012. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

We can keep waiting until poverty is solved, but that’s not what the Lord teaches us. He tells us to take action, to show His love in everything we do and to help those in need. The mission can be carried out by anybody: You give them something to eat. That’s why we support Hineni, and their humanitarian restaurant.

“You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:16

Everyone Receives Help
An average day at Hineni starts at 9am. The volunteers arrive and receive instructions. They cut up vegetables for lunch, and fill boxes with food for the people who come to the soup kitchen to take home later. When lunch is finished around 2pm, everything is cleaned up, and the volunteers return home. One of the volunteers shares: “This work has my heart; otherwise, you shouldn’t do this. The desire to do something for your neighbour, and certainly for Israel, our oldest brother. All kinds of people come here. Drug addicts and alcoholics off the street, elderly people who need help to put their tray on the table, but also disabled people like someone with spastic hands. People on the edge of society. You help all of them; the people are our guests. And they thank you for that. How beautiful it is to use the gifts the Creator gave you to serve the creation.”

The counter at Hineni | Photo: Christians for Israel

A Matter of Obedience
Helping the poor in Israel is much more than a matter of sympathy for the people who are in need. Sympathy can be a beautiful sentiment. It inspires many good things in this world. But what’s happening in Israel, is at its core, acting in accordance with the Torah, God’s Word. He instructed His people to care for their neighbour and to show the world in that way how good it is to live according to God’s ways. To live that way is not a matter of sympathy or sentiment, but a matter of obedience.

When you fight poverty in Israel, or anywhere else, by giving, you must remember that this is not because the poor need you. After all, God Himself watches over His people and does not need any instruments for this. Just remember the manna in the desert. God can literally make it rain food!

So the fact that we get to help alleviate poverty in Israel is pure grace. The Eternal One gives us the opportunity to Bless His people and to be obedient to His Word.

A hot meal at Hineni costs €5 or US $6. Please support Hineni’s humanitarian restaurant!

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