Before Passover, there is much concern to ensure that all families are able to sit at the Seder table for the Passover Feast. During this time, we hear the term “Kimcha Depischa". What exactly is “Kimcha DePischa” and how is it connected to the Holiday of Freedom? Read on and see!
What is “Kimcha DePischa”?
In the past, as Passover drew near, the Leaders of the Jewish community called for a special collection to be made, in order to bake Matza for the poor.
This collection was called Maot Hitim, which means Money for Wheat. It was also called Kimcha DePsicha, which means Flour for Pesach in Aramaic.
What is the Relation between Giving and Freedom?
Rabbi Mordechai Alon’s comments on the Haggada remind us that during the preparations for Passover and during the holiday itself, we are commanded to remember our exodus from Egypt and our journey to Freedom. The good deeds (mitzvot) that we do allow us to feel our freedom in various ways..
For example, “Kol Dichfin”, which is read at the beginning of the Haggada, calls for any hungry person to come and eat at the Seder table. In this way, both “Kimcha DePischa” and “Kol Dichfin” enable us to share our food with others – regardless of who they are or where they come from. When we give to others without judging them, we are free from prejudice and preconceived ideas. This creates a real feeling of unity.
How to Contribute?
There are many campaigns called “Kimcha DePischa” that allow each person to give to the needy according to his or her ability.
* Supermarket chains enable you to buy groceries for the needy;
* Schools and kindergartens collect food supplies;
* You can give your “hametz”, collected before Passover, to organizations that will distribute it to needy people after the holiday;
* Many organizations collect money to buy food for the holidays for those who can’t afford it.
The Freedom to Choose
In 2012, Minister Moshe Kachlon (then Minister of Welfare) criticized the handing out packages to the needy in such a fashion: “I object to throwing people packages of food and making them stand in line for it”. He suggested a way to give people the dignity of choice. Instead of giving out packages, he gave out “food cards”, which allowed people to “shop” and choose the food that they want to take home for the holiday.
Both ways allow the needy to hold the holiday feast, and those who have more to give to those less fortunate than themselves.
What do you think? Is one way better than the other? How can we, as a society, encourage mutual caring as well as mutual dignity? Tell us what you think!
Translated by Nina Samuel