I can do a mitzvah!

For many of our kids, Hanukkah was a time to receive. Hopefully you were able to take time during the holidays to make the season brighter for someone else. Now a new secular year has begun. Yet another time for us to make new years resolutions – how lucky for us Jews, we get to do it a few times each year!

keep-calm-and-do-mitzvot-3There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah. Many of them deal with sacrifices and rituals and for us in modern society, can seem antiquated and irrelevant. But there are still many that are very appropriate to think about and follow. Here are 20 mitzvot to ponder this first week of 2017. Next week, I’ll provide you with 17 ways to engage with your community at TOR. Throughout the year, I’ll occasionally provide you with either 20 or 17 things to lighten your day and make you think a little.

  1. To learn Torah and to teach it
  2. To affix the mezuzah to the doorposts and gates of your house
  3. To read the Shema in the morning and at night
  4. Not to wrong any one in speech
  5. To give charity according to one’s means
  6. To love the stranger
  7. To honor father and mother
  8. To rest on Shabbat
  9. To eat matzah on the first night of Passover
  10. To hear the sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah
  11. Not to swear needlessly
  12. To rejoice on the festivals
  13. Not to take revenge
  14. To honor the old and the wise
  15. To love G-d
  16. To pray to G-d
  17. Not to cherish hatred in one’s heart
  18. Not to break a vow
  19. Not to leave something that might cause hurt
  20. To sanctify Shabbat

I am declaring January as Mitzvah Month for TOR religious school. Just as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. for his non-violent protests and social action projects to improve the lives of those around him, this is a perfect time to guide our kids to participation in things that lead toward tikkun olam – repairing the world. At TOR, your kids will have the opportunity to engage in a project that betters the lives of very specific people. Each class will be working on their own project on January 15th during Religious School. In addition, I challenge you to take on a mitzvah project as a family. The website Areyvut contains over 100 different mitzvah project ideas.

For our school-wide mitzvah projects, we need help! Please click on the tab at the top of the page marked “Mitzvah Projects”. There, you will find a list of things needed for us to be successful on the 15th. Thanks!

++++++++++ Announcements ++++++++++

Wednesday, January 4th – No Hebrew School (7th graders, get your practice logs ready to turn in on Sunday!)

Friday, January 6th @ 10am – Gan K’tan

Sunday, January 8th

  • @9am – Religious school
  • @9:45am – Family Education Day for parents of 3rd through 5th graders.
  • @11:45am – Tie Dye event – we are finally having it! If you are tie-dying, please wear appropriate clothing to get dirty. We should be done by 12:30pm.

Wednesday, January 11th @ 6:30pm – Hebrew School and Confirmation Class (for 10th graders); there will be no formal madrichim training in January – but, please still come and help in the classroom!

Friday, January 13 – Saturday, January 14th – the Bat Mitzvah of Maddie Willienborg

Sunday, January 15th – TOR Religious School Mitzvah Day

**SAVE THE DATE**  February 11th – Parent’s Night Out from 5 to 9pm. Plan now to go out that evening and leave the kids with us!