Beth David Shelters Homeless People
Posted by ishtov on June 27, 2007
Last Thursday evening the young adult gang spent some time hanging out with homeless people as part of Beth David’s participation in the Cupertino rotating shelter program. It’s difficult to use the term “homeless people” now because after spending some time with them, you realize that they’re not homeless people. They’re real human beings. For different reasons they are in situations where they can’t afford the rents and mortgages in the pricey Bay Area, but they didn’t come across as people just looking for a hand out.
For example, I spent some time talking with a man named Dale about sports. He’s a Yankees fan, but I didn’t hold that against him. When we started talking NBA, we discovered that we both are disappointed that Lebron James won’t sign the petition to stop the genocide in Darfur. Dale used to work delivering packages until his delivery truck got rear ended. Now he is trying to get back on track, starting up his own package delivery business (DeWitt Courier & Transportation Services).
I also want to give major props to the Beth David community as a whole, for sheltering these good people for a month in the synagogue. I’ve been to several synagogues on the east coast and quite a few in the Bay Area, and I’ve never seen this before. Many communities volunteer at homeless shelters, but to actually open up your synagogue as a shelter for people is a really beautiful thing. According to the Help The Homeless post below, Beth David has been doing this for 14 years now.
I’m not sure how to express how wonderful this is. But it really shows that the Torah values of loving your neighbor as yourself are alive and well at Beth David. In the prophet Isaiah’s first recorded prophecy (Isaiah 1:1-18), he warns of the danger of only focusing on Jewish ritual. If we ignore the plight of the less fortunate, our prayers and ritual observance become meaningless. Beth David does a great job of focusing on both Jewish observance and community service. Everyone who has helped out with this great effort over the last 14 years should be very proud.
This entry was posted on June 27, 2007 at 12:36 am and is filed under Community, Congregation Beth David, Social Action, Young Adults. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.