Today, I was able to get my hands on a couple of books to begin to look further into the idea of mitzvahs. The first book is called “To Be a Jew” by Rabbi Donin. He had a chapter discussing the ideas of mitzvahs and really concentrated on the ones I was familiar with already. The ones between two people dealing with kindness. This has always been my focus and I think that clearly these may be the ones I am more drawn to for this project. I also found a website which listed all of the 613 mitzvot: Judiasm:101.
He also wrote that to inspire and bring others to give Tzedakah (charity) is a great virtue that merits an even greater reward than that of the donor. It is a wonderful gift to give of yourself and it is not often a hard thing to do. People of all ages, genders and income levels are created equal when it comes to this so I do hope that I might inspire someone to want to do their own mitzvahs.
I will need to be sure to count each mitzvah for the year so we know when we get to 1000. In addition, I will want to further define what I am counting as a mitzvah but I think for this project I will count things that are both officially a mitzvah and ones that I feel can fall into the category of kindnesses.
So here goes – (1) I gifted a friend with a book. She was leaving for a trip and I thought she would enjoy it.
(2) My daughter and I attended services in the afternoon so that I could say the mourner’s prayer for my father.
(3) My daughter and I recited the Shema blessing before bed.