Today is Purim!

Friends, today Jews the world over are celebrating Purim, a holiday over 2,200 years old that reminds us to this day that even when our circumstances seem hopeless, our dreams can come true in the blink of an eye.

On Purim, amid much merrymaking, we give delicious treats to our neighbors and alms to those in dire financial straits. In lieu of sending you goodies via cyberspace, allow me to present you with some of my favorite sayings about charity and about food:

  • Charity:
  • “My poor are my best patients. God pays for them.” – Hermann Boerhaave (1668 – 1738), Dutch physician and humanist

  • Charity:
  • “The noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting charity; and the best alms are to show and to enable a man to dispense with alms.” – The Talmud

  • Charity:
  • “When justice prevails, charity is not needed.” – Ralph Nader

    [I can't help but wonder if Mr. Nader knows that the Hebrew word for charity (tzedakah) is etymologically linked to the Hebrew word for justice (tzedek).]

    And now, from the sublime to the mundane, on to food:

  • Food:
  • “My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett

  • Food:
  • “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis, ‘Garfield’

  • Food:
  • “The two biggest sellers in bookstores are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.” – Andy Rooney

  • Food:
  • “The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you’re off it.” – Jackie Gleason

  • Food:
  • “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” – Orson Welles

    Happy Purim!

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