Our Thanksgiving message this year was brief but full of sincerity as we wished all our fellow citizens the best on a common American holiday.
We are back on the verge of the holiday seasons and, this year, portions of three major holiday traditions – Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa– will actually overlap for several days. December 26th to 30th to be precise. We mention this because such is not always the case. It wasn’t last year and it won’t be in 2020.
Whether or not these observations coincide on the calendar, they do share one common element. That feature is food. Although food is not the centerpiece of the various observances, as it is at Thanksgiving, it does hold a special place within each of them.
Anyone familiar with Dickens’ famous story “A Christmas Carol,” for example, will know of the importance of the goose. In America that fowl has now been largely replaced by turkey or ham, but the point and the focus remain the same. Hannukah meals typically feature potato latkes topped with applesauce, a labor of love to prepare. Kwanzaa actually means “first fruits” and that holiday tradition includes fruits, nuts, and vegetables, one of which is an ear of corn.
All this brings us back to the same concern and question: What about the poor and hungry? What will be on their tables? We know the answer to those questions and so do you. Doubtless very little. For the hungry among us, those “special” days will be the same as every other day. You know as well as we that such is not acceptable in this land of plenty.
You know, too, that it is going to take us all, regardless of background or practice, to make a difference. The truth is as simple as that. We at NFESH appreciate the invaluable part that each of you play in working together to achieve this common purpose. Happy Holidays!