Hunger and Feeding

A Selection from My Favorite Jewish Sources
Rabbi Mordechai Levin

Leviticus 19:9-10
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field to its very border, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord you God.

Deuteronomy 24:19-22
When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back and get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless and the widow; that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.

Deuteronomy 15:7-10
If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take heed lest there be a base thought in your heart, and you say “The seventh year, the year of release is near” and your eye be hostile to your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and it be a sin in you. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him.

Deuteronomy 16:20
Justice, justice you shall pursue.

Isaiah 32:17
And the work of tzedakah shall bring peace.

Isaiah 58:7-8, 10-11
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily, your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. If you shall pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord  will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Proverbs 14:31
He that oppresses the poor blasphemes his maker, but he that is gracious to the poor honors Him.

Proverbs 14:34
Tzedakah exalts a nation.

Psalm 72:2,4
May the ruler of the land judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice . . .May the ruler champion the cause of the poor among the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush those who wrong them.

Psalm 82:3-4
Defend the poor and the orphan; deal justly with the poor and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.


Posted in Articles, Jewish Wisdom

Rabbi Levin is the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Munster, IN. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly. In 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City for his years of dedicated service to the Conservative movement and the Jewish community...Full bio