As we think about celebrating Halloween on Sunday, I hope that each of us will remember that there are those who have no treats and will donate some of our candy to children’s shelters or other places where there are people in need. We remember that just as Abraham and Sarah opened their tent so that their guests could eat and drink (the origins of the mitzvah, hachnasat orchim, welcoming visitors), we open our homes to give sweets to children. I hope that we will remind our own kids and maybe even those who come trick or treating, that they should remember to share. Perhaps, as one colleague does, we should print a computerized IOU that we give to those who visit us. It could encourage people to donate a piece of candy for each piece that they keep or something creative that you and your family could develop….At IU, they closed a street to car traffic in order to encourage children to visit the fraternities and sororities so that the college students could make Halloween more special for some of the children in Bloomington. Someone else was going to be carrying a pushke (a Tzekakah container) so that people could make donations that could be used for a charity that meant something to him… (remember the old cans we carried to collect money for UNICEF when we were kids…Ok, I must be old and am dating myself….), someone else was bringing candy to a local hospital for cancer patients whose lives certainly could use a little sweetness….the list is endless of creative things we can do to help others at this time of year…
We are traveling back from the midwest where we had the rare opportunity to see all four of our children, our daughters-in-law, my mother-in-law, and our grandson. What a wonderful chance to reconnect with all of our kids and spend quality family time. I continue to treasure these special moments and urge all of us to spend as much time as we can with members of our families, friends, and others about whom we care. Many of you can remember celebrating Halloween and sitting on the floor dividing up the candy corn (my personal favorite!), the Reese’s peanut butter cups, the Three Musketeers…the list goes on and I am getting hungry just thinking about this!) We would share these moments with our parents and as a parent, I miss these special times. Take a minute, call your families back at home, and say trick or treat and share a personal memory of Halloween that will brighten the night for your parents, relatives, or whoever you were with for Halloween.
Shabbat Shalom, and be safe on this Halloween weekend.
Rabbi Bruce Aft