Hi my name is Linda Cohen. I recently lost my father, Peter Rabow and had decided to take some time reflecting this profound transition in my life. The experience of losing a parent I have discovered is very significant and effects us on a deep level. During my reflection, I began thinking about the word mitzvah. Prior to my father’s death, I discussed with him the idea of donating money in his memory to a charity that was performing mitzvahs. I suggested an organization I was familiar with called Ziv Tzedakah. This organization raises money for incredible grass roots operations that are doing tremendous things for people in the United States and Israel. A few nights ago I had an idea wondering how long it would take for someone (like me) to perform 1000 mitzvahs or commandments. I wondered if I could do it in a year or less. I also wondered if people would sponsor me and donate money to Ziv Tzedakah in honor of the 1000 mitzvahs I would do this year. So here I am with my own website and the dream that we will raise $10,000 for this amazing charity while doing good deeds. I will keep you posted on the mitzvahs we do ( my family would like to take part in this with me.)
Before we get started though, I want to give some background on the word mitzvah.
Mitzvah (Hebrew: מצווה, IPA: [ˈmɪtsvə], “commandment”; plural, mitzvot; from צוה, tzavah, “command”) 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 fulfilment 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. According to the teachings of Judaism, all moral laws are, or are derived from, divine commandments.
This will be a learning process for me as well since I generally know what human kindnesses are but as of yet am not versed on all of the 613 mitzvahs. I will need to learn them and know what they are. This is very exciting and I am looking forward to a year filled with human kindnesses numbering many more than 1000.
For more information about Ziv Tzedakah visit their website at www.ziv.org. If you would like to support this project please feel free to donate to Ziv and help sponsor us in our endeavor. In addition, perhaps you will want to take on a mitzvah or two and then let me know about it.