I'm not an observant Jew really, I don't belong to a temple, and don't follow all the rules and regulations - never was good at that. But there are certain items that have stayed with me from my early teachings - things that I believe in and think about often. One of those is the commandment to perform Mitzvahs - there are 613 (or 620 depending on your reference) mitzvahs that should be performed. I'm really not sure if you are supposed to perform them yearly, or in your life...or what. I'll do more research on that later.
The term mitzvah has also come to express an act of human kindness.
Michele has an idea to do good deeds on Friday - at least to account for the ones that you have done during the week. Sometimes it's not easy and the good deed (mitzvah) turns out to be NOT yelling at the idiot who cut you off in the grocery line - or other very human stuff.
I haven't been very good at thinking about doing good deeds for others - somewhat self involved I am. But then I think of people like Tessa - who does SO many good deeds and reminds us all - gently - to think of others, to give, to be grateful for what we have, to welcome being human but to keep trying - keep trying to be a better person. Tessa has turned me onto supporting Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke - a doctor who works in Africa helping families devastated by AIDS and poverty. I have purchased a few items from Tessa to support this cause - beautiful artwork for pennies - to help a good man and his cause.
I am going to continue to support this good cause - and others. Sometimes it will be with straight cash donations. Sometimes with sales of items and donated profits. Maybe someday it will be with personal help - I just don't know. I am going to find my own way to help with causes that are near to my heart.
Today's good deed was donating to the International Bird Rescue Research Center thru Ripple - to help with the horrible effects of the oil spill. I get two lovely little pieces of art for this donation - so it's still a bit selfish to call this an actual good deed don't you think? But I'm going to because I need to start somewhere.....
I'd like to spend a few minutes on Friday thinking of good deeds that I have done during the week - be they minor, or major. I believe that if I think about accounting for good deeds, that will make me think about it more, and think about how to bring performing mitzvahs into my life on a regular basis.
Michele had a good idea to think of this on fridays - don't you think???