Current Events with commentary by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Soup Kitchen Thrives Despite City Crackdown
In February, S____ began a twice-monthly outdoor soup kitchen for her poor neighbors in W____. However, in October, city officials told volunteers they were on private property and had broken the law by violating city codes by serving meals dinner in the city parking lot.
Volunteers moved tables onto a nearby vacant lot and S____ got a short-term permit from to keep operations going. To keep the soup kitchen running, they moved their kitchen to a nearby homeless support agency.
Another Crackdown on Sharing Food with the Homeless
"Do caring citizens get tickets in S_____?" asked chef J______ last week.
"Yes," replied the police officer to whom J______ had directed the question, as he handed J______ a $2,000 ticket. J______’s alleged offense? Distributing hot meals to the homeless and disadvantaged "without a permit."
The food J______ serves every Sunday afternoon, part of charitable work she's been involved with for close to ten years, was prepared in a licensed commercial kitchen and distributed from a licensed food truck. But with no special permit for giving food away, J______ faces a steep fine from city hall.
So the principle was: not to yield to any feelings of compassion
From Search Out Your Ways (#358)
If the Torah goes out of its way to describe the situation [in Sodom] — it was kigan Hashem, like a garden of Hashem — we understand that it was exceptional. But they were given a warning; They're not making use of the opportunities that prosperity offers them.
Sodom was famous for certain “moral principles.” They refused to condone the less fortunate people. They didn’t sympathize with beggars. Go to work, they said. You have to earn a living. When people come and beg —if we’ll give them, so that’ll encourage a career of dependence on other people. So the principle was not to yield to any feelings of compassion.
Sodom was a place where they suffered the illness of luxury. We see it today. When people were poor in this country (America), they had to make a living; they were happy enough that they get married. They didn’t think of any second or third story of luxury, skyscrapers of luxury. But when people have too much to eat; now they can afford to think of every form of degradation and perversion…
And so, Sodom turned to sodomy, to homosexuality. That was one of things from which we learn from Sodom. (That’s where the name comes from: sodomy.) That’s why when guests came, wayfarers, the Sodomites, in their desire to teach them a lesson not to scrounge on other people, used to treat them to mob “entertainment.”
The “anshei sdom raim vchataim lashem meod — the people of Sodom were very wicked and sinners against Hashem.” And the same is for anshei San Francisco, anshei Greenwich Village — they are raim vchataim lashem meod. And Hashem didn’t keep quiet.