May, 2018 Volume: 27, Issue: 05 
This article was first published here on May 3rd 2018.
Volunteer packers

'Twas the night before the Passover humanitarian aid distribution day, a decade ago, when I found myself in a predicament: we had not had sufficient manpower to prepare nearly enough food baskets for the number of families that were coming the next day! We had packed 160, and we needed 120 more. Our humanitarian aid center contained the items but we had not had enough "hands" to accomplish the task.

So I found myself packing 120 baskets all by myself until midnight while trying to not leave out any item from any basket. Even though it was springtime, I remember sweating profusely. It was a big relief to finish, and I promised myself that this would not happen again.

Avi Tekle
Avi Tekle
Leader of Tents of Mercy Congregation

Every year since then we have continued to diligently reach out to nearby communities at Passover, but we have also learned to work equally hard at mobilizing people to help with the packing. As they come and volunteer, added value is gained. More and more individuals get to experience the pure joy of simply serving. This year both the packing and the distribution reached new heights. We had prepared to give aid to 800 needy families initially, which grew to 890. On the packing end, we had requests from different groups both local and international, to come and partner with us in Many hands - young adults and soldiers from our community, workers from the local municipality welfare office, as well as believing friends from Ireland and Maine (USA) - finished the packing very successfully. In addition to those that physically did the packing, many open hands were extended to this same outreach effort symbolically, spiritually and financially - from Taiwan, Kenya, USA, Japan, Canada and around the world. All these hands were joined together in successfully touching many hundreds of families all over our Krayot Haifa Bay region, and we want to send out a big thanks to you all!

"Then he said to them, 'Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to the Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength'" (Nehemiah 8:10).

What a joy to come together as one body of messiah to reach our people here in the land with the message of hope and of God's redemption, at Passover.

Counting and Harvest

Now that Passover is finished, we are counting the 50 days leading up to the harvest holy day of Pentecost/Shavuot. Seeds have been sown, and we are looking forward expectantly toward the harvest to see what God will bring forth in the coming days.

Contents of Passover aid basket Recipients of aid baskets congregational Passover Meal
The joy of serving

Lines and Numbers in Israel

In the early years of humanitarian aid distribution, people from the neighborhood simply came, stood in line and took baskets. However, as some of you who have visited Israel may have noticed, standing in line here is a rather fluid thing. It is viewed culturally as just a suggestion. So, in recent years, many places around the country (such as banks, post offices etc.) have implemented order and fairness by having each person take a number and wait to be called. We also had to deal with this kind of lack of order, and we also have implemented the number system with our orange "ticket" number dispenser.

to support the work and vision of Ohalei Rachamim.

There have been comments to this article ...

9:18pm 03May18, Rose Rapp: I just read your article about Passover and I said to Craig, "Wouldn't it be awesome to go help pack all those baskets?" and before I could say my next thought Craig said, "Yes, but to help serve. To see their faces would be great." My husband took my next thought right out of my head! My heart desires to be back in Israel, serving.

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