"While eating and drinking himself, one is obligated to feed the stranger, orphan, and widow. If you do not, you are not performing a mitzvah for joy, but for your stomach.”
This sentiment, as expressed by Maimonides, is especially relevant during the celebration of Sukkot.
Acts of hospitality, such as inviting neighbours into the sukkah and setting a place for the Ushpizin, are essential to the understanding and practice of this holiday. So as you enjoy the festivity of this Sukkot season and the novelty of congregating in a temporary plywood shelter, remember those who have recently had their lives overturned by natural disasters and been forced to take shelter in temporary dwellings. Here are some ways that you can extend hospitality to the hurricane victims.
Help Messianic Congregations affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma by donating to Jewish Voice, a Messianic Ministry that provides humanitarian outreach.
Nechama: Jewish Response to Disaster
“Our work is rooted in the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam ("repairing the world through acts of kindness"). We offer help to all people affected by disaster on the basis of need regardless of religious affiliation. We also welcome anyone willing to volunteer and serve others to join us.”
Visit their website at https://www.nechama.org/volunteer-1 donate or volunteer with Nechama.
Donate to or volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides relief for victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine. They currently have volunteers providing relief for victims of Hurricane Irma as well as Hurricane Harvey. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-relief-2017/
The Jewish Federation of New Orleans
The Jewish Federation of New Orleans has been serving its local community since 1913 and is now providing care for the victims of the recent storm. Visit their website at https://jewishnola.com/harvey to view donation and volunteer opportunities.
National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster
Find opportunities to volunteer with victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria at https://www.nvoad.org/howtohelp/volunteer/ .