Every Mitzvah Counts!

2 years ago The Connections Staff 0

Sophie Edelstein//CTeen Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There are four siblings in my family. We all have strong Jewish identities, yet we all practice and celebrate our Judaism in incredibly different ways. Nevertheless, our Jewish identities all shine brightly.

My older brother is currently in Yeshiva, a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts. He loves spreading his passion for Judaism by wrapping tefillin on Jewish men who have not fulfilled the mitzvah. I enjoy working with young children and educating them on their Jewish heritage. My younger brother connects to his Judaism through music and theatre by immersing himself in his love for Jewish music, and my younger sister enjoys speaking in Hebrew and learning about Jewish history, as well as her connection to Israel. 

You see, despite these differences each of us have a significant impact and make every one of our mitzvot count in our own way. 

The notion that every mitzvah counts is demonstrated in a variety of ways. Though often mistaken as meaning “good deed” or “act of kindness,” the word mitzvah literally translates to “commandment.” In my own community, I look forward to spreading the joy of Shabbat when my chapter delivers bags to the houses of Jewish teens so they can have their own Shabbat experience.

Judaism unites people. CTeen has taught me to not take my Judaism for granted but to be proud of it and continue doing mitzvot whenever I can.

Hashem commanded us to do mitzvot; he did not suggest it or present it as an option. In the Torah, there are 613 commandments, and realistically we are not capable of observing all 613 daily—or even in our lifetime. However it is not for us to determine which of these commandments are of greater importance. We must simply try to do whatever we can each day to better the lives of those around us.

As young Jewish leaders, we have a role to play in performing tikkun olam, in repairing the world. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, once said, “If you see what needs to be repaired and how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that G-d has left for you to complete. But if you only see what is wrong and ugly in the world, then it is yourself who needs repair.” With that aspiring message, one may question: “How can I do my part in this world?”

I do my best to think about what improvement our world needs and how I could contribute to that change. No matter how old one is or where they are on their Jewish journey, everyone can fulfill the mission of tikkun olam. That is to a child or adult, student or professional, doctor or lawyer, or just another person who is struggling daily. I try to live by this to inspire the younger generation to continue to view the positive aspects of the world. Furthermore, I want to show the world that giving back should be an inclination as opposed to something we are forced or pressured to do. 

How will you take it upon yourself or your chapter to repair another part of our shattered world? What actions will you take?