American Jewish World Services, as many will tell you, is one of the better justifications for humanity’s existence—which will come in handy when our benevolent alien overlords arrive. Right now its President Ruth Messinger (along with 4000 others) is fasting for a week in protest of impending congressional cutbacks to food aid. Now, Messinger is in ridiculously good shape (it is hard to imagine most Jewish community leaders making it), but it is still a beautiful gesture for what should really be a non-partisan cause—that money doesn’t just feed people in places where food is scarce, but also allows them to actually grow their own.

Meanwhile, my stomach hurts because I overate from a publicity sample of mints—Rabbi Mints Classic Kosher Mints to be exact, which according to the best superlative press release I’ve ever seen, is “a breakthrough in the branded kosher mint category,” and—and this does cause me physical pain—“meets the “cool Jew” trend that has become an urban phenomenon.”

On the other hand, the mints ($2.50 a tin) are pretty good, they’re kosher, and I’ve noticed an uptick in the amount of time my coworkers are willing to linger by my desk—but more importantly 15 percent of the profits go to AJWS. So those incapable of fasting for more then 25 hours can do their part too.

Why We’re Fasting [NYT]
Related: Jews Biking For the Environment