Jose Andres: Wisdom & Hope for a Transformed Humanity

Jose Andres is founder of World Central Kitchen and a well-known chef.  He knew and worked alongside the seven people who were trying to relieve starvation in Gaza and were blown up by the Israeli army on Monday. 

“José Andrés accuses Israel of deliberately targeting World Central Kitchen members.” PBS NewsHour

In a moving and powerful article in the New York Times, Jose says this about his co-workers: “they risked everything for the most fundamental human activity: to share our food with others.”*  Jose worked among these people in very difficult circumstances as they tried to provide food for people suffering from war and earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters in Ukraine, Turkey, Morocco, the Bahamas, Indonesia, Mexico, as well as Gaza and Israel.

The hungry are not judged for their ideology or their religion or their being rich or poor or left or right.  The work of the murdered food workers “was based on the simple belief that food is a universal human right.” 

Andres tells us that from the beginning of the war in Israel, they fed both Israelis and Palestinians more than 1.75 million hot meals and 43 million meals all told in Gaza.  “Food is not a weapon of war,” he declares, and “Israel is better than the way this war is being waged” including the killing of aid workers.   

“Young Israelis refuse to participate in Gaza ‘genocide’” TRT World

He offers this advice, “after the worst terrorist attack in its history, it’s time for the best of Israel to show up.”

Half the population of Gaza’s 1.1 million people are currently facing an “imminent risk” of famine.  Food and hospitality are integral to the spiritual traditions of both Israelis and Muslims.  The egg plays prominently in their food and symbolism in this season of the year. 

Spirituality and eating together go together, these are ancient archetypes that inspire Jewish, Christian and Muslim beliefs and for good reason.  The eggs at springtime represent new life, new hope, resurrection.  The human species yearns to be transformed by all the signs of hope at its disposal.

“MIracle of the Bread and Fish” by painter Giovanni Lanfranco. Wikimedia Commons.

One sign is simply the courage and generosity of people like Jose Andres and his co-workers.  War represents the worst and feeding the hungry the best of human nature.  “Feed the hungry and you feed me….Greater love than this no person has, than to lay down their life for their friends.”

*Jose Andres, “Let People Eat,” The New York Times, April 3, 2024

See: Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.

And Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion.

Banner image: “Trucks with humanitarian aid waiting to cross from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.” This is a screenshot from the video footage by Tasnim News Agency. Wikipedia

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree that food is a universal human right and that food is not meant to be a weapon of war?  And that in the midst of raging climate change, raging wars and ideological battles, and facing our common extinction, it is time for the best of humanity to show up?

Recommended Reading

Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register

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4 thoughts on “Jose Andres: Wisdom & Hope for a Transformed Humanity”

  1. Carol

    Heart breaking, heart opening. Oh my , this expose’ is Stunning. These declarations regarding food are revolutionary for indeed, food has long been a weapon of war. Starve the people. Win the war. Yes in the name of a Chef Hose let the world become its best self. Thank you Matthew for this meditation.

  2. Avatar

    Yes and Yes! God’s Spirit of LOVE~LIGHT~LIFE needs to continue growing/evolving in Our hearts/Souls/lives with one another for Our Co-Creator~Source’s Queendom~Kingdom of LOVE~PEACE~JUSTICE to manifest on earth as It Is in HEAVEN… We are All Sisters & Brothers United and Interdependent with one another and All ongoing Creation~Evolution in Our Sacred multidimensional-multiverse COSMOS in LOVING DIVERSE ONENESS in the Sacred Process of the ETERNAL PRESENT MOMENT….

  3. Avatar

    I admire Chef Jose not only for the work that he does but for the heart and the grace that he shows in speaking the truth to power. May we all find the best in ourselves in this fraught time and not fall into the blame game. War is hell, period, no matter the provocation.

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