Two months ago, my family and I joined a new synagogue. I have an old college friend who has worked at the synagogue for years. She was thrilled that we were becoming members. That week, she asked me to help with a project. I was to write condolence cards on behalf of the Bikur Cholim committee (see post called Bikur Cholim dated May 4, 2009). The first cards were easy to write. I felt like I was connecting with another human being who had also experienced loss. I counted it as one of my 1000 mitzvahs. The next week, I learned that the women whom I was agreeing to help had been doing this job for years and was thrilled to have a replacement.
In my inbox, the next week two emails arrived with the subject: Deaths from the synagogue secretary. It was a bit disturbing. I hadn’t thought about all of the family members to whom I would be sending these notes. It’s not that I don’t want to be part of this project since I am sure those notes are received and greatly appreciated by the recipients. I just keep thinking now that I am “behind on my assignment” – how did I get myself into this one? Being behind on this ongoing project, is almost worse than when I have my own thank you notes to send out.
For now, I’ll try and keep up with the cards. When emails with the subject: Deaths arrive in my mailbox, I’ll try to jump. I will remind myself that the recipient on the other end of my card is grateful. Or I’ll call my friend and tell her that now I need help too.
901) Sent a card to a friend who had recently lost her dog.
902) Volunteered at school. My daughter’s teacher was out for the day and at first I was disappointed to work with the substitute. I helped do some filming for a project my daughter is working on with two other students and we had a blast. So I was happy I hadn’t let my disappointment effect my volunteering.
903) Held the door for a stranger.
904) Complimented a waitresses earrings.
905) Complimented a strangers knitted scarf.
906) Donated to a collection for a colleague who had recently lost her husband.
907) Donated to a raffle.
908) Won an item at a raffle that I couldn’t use, gave it to a colleague who could use it.
430) Sent a card to a colleague who needed to be congratulated.
431) Gave a flower to a colleague who I wanted to recognize for a job well done.
432) Sent a thank you card to a client telling her I appreciated her.
433) Picked up some trash on my morning walk.
443) Volunteered to fill in for a canceled speaker at a meeting I was attending.
444) Gave written information to someone who asked about a specific store I recommended.
445) Called an elderly friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while.
446) Yesterday at the market, I saw the gentleman who ran the fish department, the night before we had purchased fish he had prepared and it was delicious. I thanked him for it. He was quite pleased.
I definitely know that I am not keeping track of as many smaller mitzvahs as I should be. Here’s a couple of new ones for now.
410) I am chairing the Entertainment Book sale at our kid’s school this year. It seems like a pretty big undertaking but I am enjoying all that I am learning from this adventure. My kids are really into it and love being able to help the school through the sale (or maybe it’s just the prizes they want?!) Anyway, they have been really great about helping me out after school and I think especially my daughter is kind of proud that I am running this event. I am spending lots of time volunteering on this job but I guess I will just count it as a Large Mitzvah project.
411) Called a friend whose mother had passed away to check in.
412) Send a condolence card to a friend.
413) Carpooled to an event, I drove.
414) Donated items to a raffle at a meeting.
415) Volunteered to help out at a meeting when someone wasn’t able to be there.