Joy-Filled Holidays

 

Mishan LaCholeh has set it as a goal to transform the holidays experienced by those who are lonely, ill or distressed, into a true holiday of light and joy. Hundreds of people participate in the large meals conducted by Mishan LaCholeh during chol hamo'ed in a warm family atmosphere. 

 

In every window, the lights burn joyously. Large tables are set with delicacies as children and adults crowd around them to enjoy a festive chol hamo'ed lunch together as a family. Sometimes, the grandfather sits at the head of the table, his beautiful family surrounding him and filling him with endless 'nachat' and joy. At other times, it is the parents who sit with their children, or perhaps brothers and sisters hosting one another and their families. The mouth-watering scent of fresh, delicious holiday food wafts from the kitchen, the result of the woman of the house's devoted toil for her family and for the holiday. What can be more beautiful, more magical, than a good meal enjoyed with family and love?
 
 

Not many of us may notice, but there are always a number of empty windows around us, filled only with a great, deep darkness and heavy sadness. There is nobody there to prepare or cook, and even the once-white tablecloth had long turned yellow and spotted with age. These homes offer only pangs of pain and wretched worry. On Pesach, even dry bread with cheese cannot be relied upon. The chol hamo'ed meal cannot be fully celebrated with a potato and some pasta. But who knows... maybe a distant nephew will remember his old uncle and call to invite him at the very last minute? 

 

If not for Mishan LaCholeh, their holidays would be times of sadness, worry and loneliness

 

Mishan LaCholeh does not wait for someone to reach that kind of situation. Anyone who has nowhere to eat the holiday meal is invited to join the large Mishan LaCholeh family. While people in other homes are busy building their private sukkahs, cleaning their homes for Pesach or cooking delicacies for the Purim meal, Mishan LaCholeh's dedicated volunteers put in hours of selfless and devoted work for others. A huge sukkah is erected for all those who have nowhere else to eat the holiday meals, and delicious meals of meat, fish and other delicacies are prepared for them in huge vats. A special kitchen is set up for Pesach, too, in which chol hamo'ed meals are prepared in new dishes daily. It is a true realization of the verse in the Haggadah: "Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are in need come share our Pesach."

 

Hundreds of people participate in these festive meals by Mishan LaCholeh. The food is excellent, and the atmosphere is homey, warm and accepting. A band plays festive music in the background and adds extra joy and happiness to the Purim or chol hamo'ed meals. 

 

And if all this is not enough, Mishan LaCholeh also offers a personal envelope to each participant

During the Purim meal, Mishan LaCholeh is not satisfied with all the good piled up on the tables, but also offers each of the participants a personal envelope filled with bills of matanot la'evynim ("gifts to the poor" – one of the four special mitzvot of Purim), so that they can continue to sustain themselves in the coming days ahead. There is no doubt that for many people, if not for Mishan LaCholeh, holidays would have been synonymous with sadness, worry and loneliness. Now, thanks to this wonderful organization, they can experience the full joy of the holiday. 

 

An additional massive food distribution project prior to the holidays, in a pleasant and respectful manner

 

Prior to the major holidays, Mishan LaCholeh embarks on another massive project for the sake of all those who so desperately need it. It supplies large families who have little or no means with huge sacks and piles of boxes filled with tons and tons of fruits and vegetables. Over 12,000 people enjoyed Mishan LaCholeh's food distribution over the past holidays and owe the joy of the holidays to it. The boxes are sold for a laughable, nominal fee, in order to ensure that the beneficiaries feel good about receiving them. Now they, too, can celebrate the holiday appropriately just like everyone else.