Fall 2023 Learning

Fall Service to Go Projects: Mac & Cheese Kits and No-Sew Fleece Blankets 

Jewish Value: comfort, or nechama 

What does Judaism have to say about comfort, or nechama?  

In Jewish tradition, the value of comfort, or nechama, holds great significance, especially when it comes to supporting those who are mourning. As Jewish individuals, it is our duty to provide comfort to those who are grieving, offering food, companionship, and prayers. However, the act of comforting should extend beyond those we personally know. Everyone deserves to experience comfort in their lives. In Pirkei Avot 2:4, a text that guides us in ethical living, we are reminded not to separate ourselves from the community. This underscores the importance of actively participating in and contributing to our community. We must also strive to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and at ease. As Jewish people, it is our responsibility to foster inclusivity and extend comfort to those in need through tangible objects, shared meals, and the gift of companionship. 

Why are these projects important?  

The Talmud holds a special place as one of the central texts in Jewish tradition, offering deep insights and wisdom from the Rabbis. Berakhot 57b:12, reminds us of the three things that ease our minds: pleasant voice, delightful sights, and pleasing smells. Similarly, three matters bring a person comfort: a beautiful home, a wonderful partner, and lovely vessels.  

This fall, our two projects perfectly align with these concepts of easing minds and providing comfort. Our mac & cheese kits offer a comforting food experience, combining the aromatic scent of starchy pasta, milk, and delicious cheese. This simple and satisfying meal is sure to ease one’s mind, especially for those facing food insecurity, a challenge that affects 1 in 3 Marylanders according to the Maryland Food Bank (https://mdfoodbank.org/hunger-in-maryland.) On the other hand, our no-sew fleece blankets embody pure comfort. They are warm, soft, and cozy, creating a beautiful home environment. As temperatures start to drop and heating bills increase, many people will have to choose which expenses to prioritize. In Maryland, there is a shortage of affordable housing for low-income households. Many people are spending more than half of their income on housing, meaning they are likely to sacrifice other necessities like heat and food. By participating in these fall projects, we can extend comfort to our community in multiple ways. 

Discuss: 

  • What does comfort, nechama, mean to you?  
  •  In what ways do you think your understanding of comfort may vary from that of others? 
  • How else can you provide comfort and support to those in need? 

Go Deeper with these PJ Library Books: The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc 

We've moved!

Discover the Jewish experiences, connections, and resources waiting for you at the
Jewish Connection Network
!

This site will close down at the end of February 2024.