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Opinion: Invite The Less Fortunate | Avi Gutfreund

Pesach, for most, is a time of joy and relaxation, a Yom Tov that offers a short reprieve from our hectic lives and endless responsibilities. I say it is such a time for most and not for all, because there are unfortunately a sizeable amount of people for whom Yom Tov brings little to no joy. These are those that have no family to go home to, no place to call their own. There are many for whom Pesach is not a time to unwind; it is rather a Yom Tov that hits them with the harsh reminder that they are alone.

We begin the Seder each year saying כל דיחפין ייתי ויכול כל דצריך ייתי ויפסח – one who is hungry should come eat [with us], one who is in need should come and conduct the Seder [with us]. These should not be just symbolic words, showing our interest in helping those who are in need. They should serve as a call to action to be there for those who are not as blessed. As far as the hungry go, I believe we are doing great. There is no lack of funds being donated to organizations who assist needy families. But what about those that have nobody? Do they not fit into the parameters of כל דצריך? They, now more than ever, need a smile, a warm invitation, a morsel of acknowledgement and validation.

This Pesach let us remember those that are not blessed with a beautiful family to whom they can come home each night to. Let us give these people some of the love that they are sorely in need of by inviting them to our homes, by offering to spend time with them, by just being there for them.

Beginning a Seder with more than just rhetoric will change your Yom Tov for the better. Having a disadvantaged individual at your Seder, celebrating our freedom and the miracles of Pesach with you and your family will make for a far richer and meaningful Yom Tov. If we look out for each other, then our Sedorim, beginning with a true call to help those who need us, will undoubtedly help in answering our prayer for לשנה הבאה בירושלים.

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