Give a book (or books) away as a mitzvah

Jessica and Vanessa Gordon

I’m so excited to share this blog post, because it’s meant so much to me. Several weeks ago, I received an email from Jessica Gordon, a mom in New York who was inquiring about purchasing my 1,000 Mitzvahs book as a gift to share with her guests at her daughter’s upcoming Bat Mitzvah on April 28th. We had several emails back and forth and Jessica ended up purchasing nearly 100 copies to give away. We also created a book-plate that I signed and was placed in the front of the book.

I have written in a previous post about my thoughts of the value of giving books away and that my first mitzvah actually was gifting a book to a friend myself. Yesterday, when I was meeting with a colleague about some potential work opportunities, I gave her a signed copy of my book as well. What a wonderful joy it is to give a book away as a present.

Ironically, next Monday night, April 23, 2012 is  World Book Night. It’s a wonderful idea and unfortunately one I learned about too late to participate in myself this year. But you know what? None of us has to wait for an official night to gift a book to a friend, a child or someone else we know who would benefit from a book.

So this weekend, donate or buy a book. Find out about opportunities in your communities to do good with books. In our community, the Children’s Book Bank always comes to mind.

As I’ve said before, books are powerful. Buy them. Read them. Gift them. And of course, if you’d like to gift 1,000 Mitzvahs to your friends and relatives at your upcoming simcha or celebration by all means contact me!

Mazel Tov Vanessa on reaching your Bat Mitzvah! Thank you Jessica for the mitzvah you have given me by your actions of gifting my book.


A Bat Mitzvah and receiving what is offered

Next week is my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. It will be celebrated with many family members and friends at an outdoor camp that my daughter has attended for many years called Willowbrook. It is a summer arts camp and it is there that she has discovered her love of drama, singing and music. We are excited for the weekend festivities and I am working hard to keep my to do list under control. I am so grateful for the help we have received from clergy, tutors, friends and family to help us prepare for such a big life cycle event.

Mitzvah idea for this week: receive help graciously. Sometimes in this life we give and sometimes we receive. This week I am open and receptive to as much help as I am offered and help I might need to ask for as well. It is the best option for sanity.

Have a great week. I’ll post again soon!

——– Just had to add a little post script! WordPress just notified me that this is my 360th post on this website. In Judaism, 18 means to life and many Jews use the multiples of 18  – 36, 54, 72 etc. when we give gifts and make donations. It is a significant number and I love the fact that this simple post about my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah coincides with this awesome number of posts. In case, you didn’t realize, I love synchronicity.

A few more simple mitzvahs this week

546) Volunteered for a school field trip yesterday for my son. I get so much out of volunteering with the school events and just love being able to participate.

547) Attended a Bat Mitzvah last night with my daughter for a young woman in our community. This week someone asked me about what a Bar or Bat Mitzvah was and how that connected to my idea of doing mitzvahs. This celebration takes place in the life of a girl at age 12 and a boy at age 13 when they are formally recognized by the Jewish community as an adult. When they have their bar/bat mitzvah ceremony they now have additional responsibilities and opportunities as adults in the community. It is always a pleasure to be included in someone’s “simcha” or celebration of a life cycle event. This bat mitzvah was for women only and my daughter was included in the invitation. she enjoyed the celebration too.

548) Inquired about someone’s health who I had seen earlier in the week and wasn’t doing very well.

549) Inquired about someone’s daughters health.

550) When my daughter and I were shopping today at Costco,  a mom nervously asked my daughter if she would mind trying on a pair of mittens to see if they would fit her daughter. My daughter was happy to participate even suggesting which ones were the most comfortable and my son said to me – be sure to write that on the blog, mom!

551) Gave $ to a friend leaving for Israel. This is a Jewish custom we do to ensure someone will travel safely. (The idea is that they will give the money for tzedakah or charity wherever they are headed.) Seems I only remember to do this when someone is actually going to Israel but I like the idea for anytime someone is traveling.

At the bat mitzvah I received a lovely mitzvah from a stranger. One of the woman sitting at our table whom I had never met before came up to me at the end to comment and let me know how nicely my daughter had spoken with her. She went on to say that my daughter had exhibited wonderful etiquette to speak back to her politely even after she had just taken a bite of food. What a thrill as a mother to be told these comments about our children. Remember to pass on compliments to other parents when you have them too!