Of all the major Jewish holidays, the least familiar to the synagogue-avoiding Jewish public is Shavuot. J.J. Goldberg explains.
Shavuot is best known for being little-known. J.J. Goldberg says it’s kind of like the Zeppo Marx of the Jewish spiritual calendar.
As the Jewish holiday season progresses from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur toward Sukkot, each holiday has a special relationship to food that builds on the preceding holiday. Rosh Hashanah is a time of feasting: succulent apples and honey and round raisin challah, a table of sweetened abundance. Yom Kippur, in contrast, is a day of fasting, and even though we are only hungry for a day, the holiday encourages empathy for those who face hunger every day, including 1.4 million New York City residents (according to the NYC Coalition Against Hunger) and millions of people world-wide. Finally, during the harvest festival of Sukkot, we combine feasting with our obligation to feed the hungry.
My latest column on taxes, deficits and debt, “Taking From the Poor and Giving to the Rich,” has stirred up quite a bit of discussion, which is fine. Much of it revolves around the credibility of my numbers, which is unfortunate. Herewith, a guide to the websites where the numbers are available, so you all can check for yourselves. Included are websites showing—year by year: What percentage of the population took home what share of total national income; What proportions of all federal revenue came from personal income tax, corporate tax and Social Security-Medicare payroll tax; How much the federal government took in, how much it spent and what the surplus or deficit came to; How much of the federal budget was spent on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; and lots more. I also give you biblical sources to clear up just how much of one’s income the Bible says it’s fair to give over in taxes to support the poor and the government bureaucracy. Here we go:
When you think of the term “sustainable farm” or even “local” and “organic” farming, you probably don’t also picture stray fruits and vegetables lying on an otherwise harvested field. Yet, for various reasons farmers (both conventional and organic) often do not harvest their full crop. For some, discolored or misshaped produce will not sell in the market. For others, too much time and effort is needed to return to the fields to pick up dropped or forgotten crops. Many farmers leave those crops to decompose on the land.
For Rick Nahmias, the idea was a no-brainer. For those Los Angeles residents who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, it is a blessing.
“When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the orphan.” - Deuteronomy 24:19