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    The righteous going hungry – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. I have always been puzzled by the verse that we say at the end of Bensching, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen a righteous person forsaken or his descendants begging for bread”. How can this be squared with the facts?

    homeless man poverty poor charityA. You are right of course. Righteous people are not exempt from being or feeling forsaken, nor are their descendants immune from hunger.

    The verse – from Psalm 37:25 – cannot be correct unless we read more into it than appears on the surface.

    Here are some possible explanations:

    • If you are righteous you do not feel the privations. You rise above them.

    • Suffering does not last for ever. Eventually the righteous person is vindicated.

    • God does not abandon the righteous. He sends them help.

    • If the righteous are hungry they trust in God and do not lower themselves to beg.

    • The verse is David’s personal observation. Other people see things differently.

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