In countless folktales, Elijah the prophet, a symbol of redemption, appears at our doorways as a poor, hungry wanderer. We invite him in, let him warm up by the fire, give him some food to satisfy his hunger and a coat to keep him warm. Redemption, we learn from these stories, happens in the most basic act of lovingkindness, sharing food and clothing with those in need.

Make life-giving choices.


May the things we donate help to repair the world.


As you gather together the things you will donate, ask yourself: If you were someone in need, which food or clothes would you be happy to receive? Supplement the clothes you plan to donate with a bag of new underwear or socks. If possible, call the local food pantry and ask what items are in short supply. Finally, make a swift delivery your priority.


May the Merciful One continue to bless me and my family, and all that we have, just as our fathers and mothers were blessed. May we remember to thank You for sustaining us. May Your helping hand, which is open and overflowing, continue to be the source of blessings for us and all humanity.


You are not required to complete the task, yet you are not free to evade it. (Pirkei Avot 2:21)

Rabbi Irwin Kula, editor, Vanessa L. Ochs, editor in The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices