It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks with family and friends and a wonderful celebration of my daughter becoming a bat mitzvah. We had her Bat Mitzvah outside on a Sunday morning at a summer arts camp that she has been attending for 10 years. There were dozens of logistical issues that needed to be determined for the weekend and luckily they all worked out very well, thank goodness. These past several weeks, I can’t even count how many mitzvahs I have received. Some I had to ask for, and some were offered of their own accord, but in all the cases the help people gave us was valuable and added to the weekend tremendously. I thought I’d share some of the ways people offered their help incase sometime in the near future if you are hosting a big event maybe you’ll be able to use these quick ideas for ways people can help you….
1) Have a friend pick up family arriving at the airport.
2) Ask friends to borrow tables or chairs (we had a need for an out of town dinner we were hosting). Facebook was great in asking many friends let me know they could help and I took several of them up on their offer…
3) An uncle and aunt hosted a meal for us and several out of town guests. Wow, that was a tremendous and generous gift! (Makes me think that when my niece and nephew grow up maybe we could do the same for them).
4) A friend offered her services to help pretty up my house with fresh flowers and general staging… she does this professionally but gifted me with an hour or two of her time… results were divine! Maybe someone you know is good at this kind of thing.
5) A friend offered to play his guitar at our luncheon, since we hadn’t hired professionally musicians, I took him up on the offer. He was great and the live music really added something to our luncheon.
6) A couple of friends we know from camp, greeted our guests, helping with directions and generally welcoming everyone to our camp.
7) Ask friends to make cookies, or a cake or some other dessert. In our synagogue, it is customary to ask friends to bake cookies to serve just after the service. From six friends, we got dozens of delicious cookies enough to serve after the service itself and again for our out of town guests later that evening. Many people asked what they could help baking was a fun and tasty option.
All of this receiving this past week, reminded me of a story I share in my upcoming 1000 Mitzvahs book when the rebbetzin (Rabbi’s wife) called me because she needed a Pack ’n Play for her granddaughter who was coming to town and bringing her small baby. We had given ours away years earlier, but I told her I would find one she could use. I placed a few phone calls and found a friend who was willing to lend hers out. I picked it up and brought it over to the rebbetzin’s house.
When the rebbetzin called me, I could have just said, “We gave our Pack ’n Play away a long time ago,” and left it at that. But I realized that I have access to more mothers than she does, and that it wouldn’t take much effort to locate one so that she wouldn’t have to keep looking.
Having our needs met in life is often about connecting with the right person or people. When we connect with the right person, sometimes what feels difficult and trying on our end can be effortless because that person has the right connections or can just make things happen in ways we can’t. I was able to help the Rebbetzin several years ago and this weekend I was the recipient of loads of other folks who could make things happen and perform their own mitzvah on my behalf.
Helping someone out, especially when it’s a no-brainer and easy, is a fundamental mitzvah. Most people like to feel needed, so don’t be afraid to connect with the right person for advice, help, or assistance.
Our family is so grateful to all of the folks who offered and helped us celebrate this past weekend.