Jacob’s sixth-grade classmates kept eyeing the clock, counting down the hours and the minutes until the final bell rang. The sound that would announce the start of Passover vacation.
The biblical holiday of Passover, commemorating the Israelites miraculous exodus from ancient Egypt, was starting in a few days. All the kids were excited about what the upcoming festive holiday meant to them: vacation from school, festive ritual meals with family and friends, new clothes, presents, and trips!
All the boys except for Jacob. Jacob too was glancing at the clock. However, unlike his eager classmates, Jacob wished the clock was moving backward instead of forward.
Until that school bell rang, Jacob was secure. He knew that his younger sister had eaten the free lunch provided by her school, his baby brother had his diaper changed by the daycare, and his mother was able to focus on her work. In just a few hours, everything would change.
While his friends were out shopping for Passover matzah or trying on new holiday shoes, Jacob would be tasked with cleaning the house, keeping his siblings entertained and figuring out how to feed his siblings with the meager supplies in the pantry.
When he was only 11 years old, Jacob’s father died, since when he (Jacob) has morphed, against his will, into the “man of the house.” His mom was counting on him. His four siblings were counting on him. On the outside, he appeared confident. On the inside he was worried. How will we eat this Passover?
Jacob, take your brother to the park. Leave the worrying behind. Colel Chabad is here for you.
Since 1788, thousands of struggling Israeli families, widows and orphans and seniors have counted on Colel Chabad, along with the generosity of donors from all over the world, to provide for them. Jacob, we will make sure that your widowed mother, your baby brother, your younger sister and your brother, and you, have ample food this Passover.
Living in Poverty
Though Israel has a shocking 1.7 million Israelis living below the poverty line, the country also has numerous charity organizations doing all they can to help those in need, especially before Biblical holidays.
Colel Chabad, Israel’s oldest charity, recently shared with Breaking Israel News the help they are forecasting to provide for Passover 2019, and the numbers are impressive.
Passover 2019 – By the Numbers
Rabbi Shmuel Lipsker reported to Breaking Israel News, “Through generous donors, we hope to distribute pre-paid shopping cards to 16,842 families to purchase food. 5,805 families will be given pre-paid shopping cards to be used to purchase clothing. All of our shopping cards resemble regular credit cards helping to preserve the honor and dignity of the recipients.”
On Friday, April 19, Jewish people, all over the world will sit down with family and friends for the festive Passover Seder (ritual meal). Rabbi Lipsker proudly told Breaking Israel News, “Twenty-two Colel Chabad Soup Kitchens will be open, serving over 3,214 complete seders to widows, families, and many Holocaust survivors. Colel Chabad will be delivering more than 1,672 complete seders to the homebound – including many elderly. Additionally, we are setting 2,3640 seats at public seders for needy men, women, and children, who have no one.
See You at the Seder, Jacob
Jacob, we look forward to singing with you, your widowed mother, your baby sister, and your siblings, at the Colel Chabad Seder. Come dressed in your new holiday clothes and shoes. This Passover, enjoy your childhood. Make memories. Rest assured that the generous donors of Colel Chabad have provided all the groceries needed to sustain your family for the entire week of Passover.
To donate to Jacob and his family through Colel Chabad, please click here.
Written in cooperation with Colel Chabad.