The Beginning of Tov V’Chesed

 

I began worrying about food when I was only six years old.

 

“Will there be challos at the seudah this week?” It was my concern, my responsibility. Hunger lulled me to sleep at night and escorted me to yeshiva in the morning. It etched lines into my parents’ faces and whimpered pitifully in my sibling’s voices as they fought for the slightly larger slice of bread.

 

On Fridays, I would scamper around the shuk, searching for fruits or vegetables that had fallen between the carts. Even half-trampled produce made my mother’s eyes light up. Occasionally, when organizations offered assistance, I waited among the desperate crowd for hours, as we all pushed and shoved each other, grabbing at the handout as if our lives depended on it. Come to think of it, it did. The shame of having to eat charity could not deter the sheer desperation that forced us to act in this undignified manner.

 

In one starving moment of my childhood I made a promise to myself: “When I grow up, I’ll make this better.”

 

B’Chasdei Hashem, I am now the father of a young growing family. Although my children and my own business make pressing demands on my time, I cannot forget the searing pain of my childhood, and so, I cannot ignore the hunger of other children. I must respond to the heartrending need that I can oh, so well remember. There is a constant stream of new applicants pleading for our help. Six-year-olds, eight-year-olds, sweet, precious, neshamos are reaching out to us. All they are asking for is food; and that is all I am trying to give them – with dignity. HELP ME HELP THEM!

- Yakov Eliezer Shisha

Founder and Director

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