The Jewish people often associate the holiday of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, with the military victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks. However, it was not this victory that was essential. Rather, it was what happened afterward – that the Jewish people were able to purify and rededicate the holy Temple – essential for their spiritual survival.
The miracle of Hanukkah is not just that a tiny flask of oil burned for eight days to keep the menorah shining, but that the Jews were able to remove the Greek’s pagan influence and spread the light of holiness.
Today, one of the best ways to spread light is by caring for those less fortunate than you. We read in Isaiah 58 that it is when we offer compassion to the hungry that our light shines in the darkness.
So, in the spirit of the eight days of Hanukkah, here are eight Biblical verses about feeding the poor and caring for the needy:
“Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so, for in return Hashem your God will bless you in all your efforts and in all your undertakings” (Deuteronomy 15:10).
“It is to share your bread with the hungry, And to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked, to clothe him, And not to ignore your own kin” (Isaiah 58:7).
“And you offer your compassion to the hungry and satisfy the famished creature — Then shall your light shine in darkness, And your gloom shall be like noonday” (Isaiah 58:10).
“He who withholds what is due to the poor affronts his Maker; He who shows pity for the needy honors Him” (Proverbs 14:31).
“All day long he is seized with craving While the righteous man gives without stint” (Proverbs 21:26).
“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; If he is thirsty, give him water to drink” (Proverbs 25:21).
“A righteous man is concerned with the cause of the wretched” (Proverbs 29:7).
“I have been young and am now old, but I have never seen a righteous man abandoned, or his children seeking bread” (Psalms 37:25).
This article was written in cooperation with Meir Panim. To make a gift, click here>>