Why Does G-d Not Feed the Poor?
G‑d is surely not a hypocrite. If He tells us to do something, He should do it Himself as well. So shouldn’t G‑d be obligated to feed the poor? Why doesn’t He help His own children rather than commanding us to do it for Him?
Imagine you know a family that can’t put food on the table. You want to help them. So you send a nice check in the mail. But it never gets there, as the mailman keeps the check for himself.
So you order a meal online for them. But the restaurant gets the order wrong and gives the food to someone else.
Determinedly, you arrange a grocery delivery for them. But the delivery truck never shows up.
Exasperated, you go on to your bank app to do a direct transfer. And the app crashes.
Did you try to help? Yes. Were they helped? No. What went wrong? You were let down by the system. You may have the best intentions, but you rely on others to do their part. If they don’t, the help doesn’t arrive.
G‑d wants to help everyone. So He created a world that has all the necessary resources to feed every mouth. And he set up a system to deliver the goods to those who are in need.
There is enough money in the world for everyone to have what they need, enough love to give to every lonely person, enough time to help those who can’t help themselves. All that is required is goodwill and a sense of responsibility on the part of those who have, to share with those who have not.
We are the system. You and me. Doing our part to keep the system rolling is called tzedakah. Although generally translated as “charity,” this term actually means “justice,” since it is only right that we pass on the portion of G‑d’s bounty that is designated for others.
So why are there hungry people? Because we aren’t doing our job. If we don’t deliver, the food doesn’t get to its destination. That is not G‑d’s fault, it’s ours.
Of course, G‑d could just cut out the middleman and feed the hungry Himself. But that would defeat the purpose of creation—to make a world of kindness, where people choose to use their gifts to help each other.
Food is not all we need for nourishment. We also have a need for meaning. In order to give us a life of meaning, G‑d gives us the opportunity to give. When I help someone more needy than myself, I am also being nourished. I am giving food, but I am receiving much more. I am receiving the gift of purpose.