Colors: Green Color

Much negative talk has been directed at the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, from the Republican Congress as they tried to repeal it some 50 times. The ACA’s rollout through the government website was disastrous, and according to the Inspector General’s report, the total cost of the website reached $1.7 billion. Also, for years after it went into effect, its insurance policy premiums were going up substantially along with its deductible amounts, and choice of carriers for certain states were becoming fewer as different insurance companies were dropping out of those markets.

We are all busy preparing for Pesach: shopping, cleaning, learning the Haggadah, packing for the hotel in Aruba… Trust me: We are all doing something for the upcoming holiday. So while you are getting ready, I want to ask you a question: If Hashem wanted us to be slaves in Egypt and then free us, why did He wait 210 years? Why weren’t we slaves for “just” 42 years… or 133 years… or 209 years, 51 weeks and three days? That wouldn’t have been enough? Why the enslavement for a full and back-breaking 210 years… and not a day less?

Now that we have celebrated Purim with its chagigos, Purim shpiels, and all the hooplahs, it’s time for a reality check and thinking about Pesach. Each year, the celebration of the holiday gets more and more expensive. Our Rabbis state that our celebration for Pesach is incomplete if we fail to provide for those in need in our community. They further teach us that we are truly G-dly in our behavior when we actively respond to the poor and vulnerable. Caring for and giving to those less fortunate is our righteous obligation, responsibility, and duty. The chiyuv (obligation) to combat poverty is meant to be an expression of our achdus (unity) as a people. The giving of charity is a fundamental part of Jewish life.