Rabbi Zev Sonnenstein Reflects
We are a month into 2024, and I would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy year, but more than that; May 2024 be filled only simchas and opportunities to fulfill mitzvot.
So, what is a Mitzvah? According to Wikipedia, the definition is: ("Mitzvah
Hebrew: מִצְוָה, mīṣvā [mit͡sˈva], plural מִצְווֹתmīṣvōt [mit͡sˈvot]; "commandment") is a word used in Judaism to refer to (a) the commandments, of which there are 613, given in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) or (b) any Jewish law at all. The term can also refer to the fulfillment of a mitzvah as defined above."
The term mitzvah has also come to express any act of human kindness, such as the burial of the body of an unknown person, clothing and/or feeding the less fortunate, or protecting the environment. According to the teachings of Judaism, all moral laws are, or are derived from, divine commandments.
Many people think that giving tzedakah is just giving money or items ... not so. It is also giving of oneself...time, coming from one's heart. In the Torah portion Terumah, (the portion we will read on the Shabbat of the Seeds of Hope program), we read that when God tells Moses how the Mishkan, the Holy Ark, is to be built, He begins by saying that each should bring gifts, and Moses to accept the gifts from every person whose heart moves them. It is the same with giving Tzedakahmonetary
or otherwise - both are equally important.
There are two types of people who do mitzvot ... those who seek the purpose of the mitzvah and analyze it, seeing if there is an easier way to reach the desired result ... and those who just do and do not question them, because they feel it is the right thing to do. Which type are you?
May 2024 be filled with chances to fulfill many Mitzvot and be rich with tzedakah opportunities.
B’Ydidut- L’Shalom,In friendship and in Peace
Rabbi Zev Sonnenstein