May I begin by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to you for your on-going generosity towards our holy cause over the past year which has enabled us to provide our clients with one of life’s most basic needs, so often taken for granted: food. Here we stand on the threshold of the two most powerful months of the Hebrew calendar – the month of Elul, a time of self-introspection and spiritual awakening; and the month of Tishrei, which contains the High Holy Days. Elul and Tishrei capture the very story of life itself and, at Yad Aharon & Michael, our spirit of Ahavas Chesed, compassion and dedication underpins the manner in which assistance is offered to those less fortunate.
The effects of the current recession on the financial status of all South Africans has been at best crippling and, for the poorer amongst us, devastating. Last Rosh Hashanah, could we have predicted the unprecedented levels of poverty and destitution which would be facing us? As the largest food G’mach in Johannesburg, we take our mandate very seriously: to provide nutritional security to every Jewish person or family brought to our attention. For this reason, we are committed to providing no less than 550 families with Yom Tov parcels brimming with all the items needed to enable them to join the rest of Klal Yisroel in ushering the New Year with sweetness, joy, gratitude and renewed hope for Brocha in the year ahead. Let us enable them to also dip apples in honey which symbolises sweet eternity!
Our renowned Rosh Hashanah hampers are made up of a double portion of seasonal fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and chicken, honey, grape juice, candles and all the basic groceries necessary to prepare Yom Tov meals. The quantities given depend on the size of the families, with large ones receiving as many as 10 chickens. This calculation alone will give you some idea of the cost of this monumental project. We also have a ‘Specials List’ which consists of additional families (ordinarily up to 30) who would struggle to celebrate Yom Tov without our assistance. In these times of unrelenting socio-economic hardship, Yad Aharon’s open door policy provides a unique brand of caring towards our recipients, and by allowing the cry of others to awaken your soul this Rosh Hashanah, the Mitzvah of Tzedokah will take on a whole new meaning.
As we all take our seats around our Yom Tov tables, let us, together, do so knowing that we have generously contributed to so many needy families who would have otherwise gone without.
Kesiva ve Chasima Tova!