With thoughts of the Passover story fresh in mind, you may recall Exodus 12:11. It instructs the Israelites who are about to break the bonds of slavery to eat their last meal in a state of readiness, with shoes on their feet and a staff in their hands.
Dr. Edna Nahshon, Associate Professor of Hebrew at the Jewish Theological Seminary and author of a new book, “Jews and Shoes,” underscored this biblical passage in a phone interview last week. She noted that shoes are the most basic external facilitators of human locomotion, and as such, have served since ancient times as symbols of mobility. “Take away our shoes and you have taken away our freedom,” she said. “The two concepts just naturally go together. Mobility is tied to a sense of self, to a sense of autonomy and independence.
Metaphorically speaking, when you have shoes, you can create your own destiny. It is therefore, that piles of shoes have become a symbol of the lives cut short in the Holocaust, symbolizing the devastating end of personal liberty,” Dr. Nahshon poignantly added.
Such metaphorical readings of footwear can be applied literally to a local gift of mobility. On Mar. 24 a generous donation was made by an Israeli company to a Wilmington nonprofit. Naot, an Israeli shoemaker known for their foot-friendly form, and Yaleet Inc., its distributor, donated $10,000 worth of shoes to the YWCA’s Single Women’s Residence which provides low-rent rooms to low-income women. The women living at the Home-Life Management Center, a program for homeless families, will also benefit from the donation.
Ginny Marino, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Delaware commented, “YWCA Delaware is so grateful to Naot and Yaleet for this generous donation.
The women at our two residential facilities now have some wonderful new shoes for the summer. We would also like to thank the staff at Dale’s Shoetique; without them, this donation would not have been possible.”
The idea for the donation was prompted by the marketing representative who works with Dale Maahs, owner of Dale’s Shoetique. Maahs said, “It is wonderful to do business with Noat, a company with great integrity, who gives back to our local community. Together, Naot and Dale’s donated over 100 pairs of shoes to the YWCA. As the owner of a small business in Delaware, we are grateful to be able to do what we can to help lift a person’s soul, to feel special, encouraged, and cared about.” Maahs added, “If we all join together to spread little acts of kindness around, then our lives, and the lives of others, will be enriched. We can make a difference, one by one.”
Dale’s Shoetique has been providing fashion footwear, accessories, and handbags for 15 years. The stylish boutique is located at Greenville Crossing on Kennett Pike, in Greenville, Del.
The YWCA has been serving Delaware women and their families since 1895, helping women achieve self-sufficiency by encouraging their personal development. Programs include housing and shelter, violence prevention, civic leadership, advocacy and economic empowerment.
Naot footwear is manufactured in Israel and is one of the leading comfort footwear brands in the market. Since 1991, Yaleet Inc. and Naot have been donating shoes to people in need with the help of their generous retailers.
For more information, about Dale’s Shoetique, contact Dale Maahs at 302-655-6003, or go to www.dales.com. For information about the YWCA, call (302) 655-0039 x224 or go to www.ywcade.org. Naot’s website is: www.naot.com .