web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



‘Accidental’ Mitzvahs


Resnick-021513-Notes-1

Two weeks ago I found myself at the International Conference of Chabad Shluchos in Crown Heights running a program together with my friend Rivka Kotlarsky for 120 Guests of Shluchos – many of them not yet especially observant. On Motzei Shabbos, while ascending the elevator of the Jewish Children’s Museum – where we had organized an elegant melave malkah banquet – I suddenly saw the woman next to me point in my direction and say to a third woman, “That’s the person you’re looking for.”

“Oh, you’re in charge of the Shluchos Program?” the lady asked me.

“No,” I said, “I’m one of the women in charge of the Guest of Shluchos program. If you want the Shluchos program, you’ll have to walk a block and a half where the main program is taking place.”

“I don’t want to walk,” she said. She was holding 25 beautifully embroidered challah covers that her husband – the rabbi of the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem – had asked her to distribute among the shluchos as a promotion for the hotel.

“Well,” I said, “if you want, I can give them to the shluchos’s guests. I’ll auction them off,” I said.

“No,” she said, “you can’t auction them. They have to be given for free.”

Guests at the recent International Conference of Shluchos in Crown Heights watching a sofer at work.

Guests at the recent International Conference of Shluchos in Crown Heights watching a sofer at work.

“I mean, auction them for mitzvos,” I said. “Every woman who wishes to receive a challah cover will pledge to do a mitzvah and then we’ll place all their pledges in a bag and randomly pick the winners.”

“Okay, let me ask my husband,” she said.

She called her husband, he gave the okay, and I was left holding the bag of beautiful challah covers.

All this was done on a whim. The idea popped into my head, and I went with it. I didn’t make much of it initially and even temporarily forgot about the covers. But then on Sunday, on the way back from the Ohel, the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I suddenly remembered and introduced the mitzvah raffle idea to our guests. Right there on the moving bus the women shakily wrote their determined pledges. Our accommodating bus driver pulled out the lucky winners. But they were all winners – each one of them. You should have seen their pledges. They really touched our hearts

“I promise to stop watching TV and turn off my cell and computer on Shabbos,” one woman wrote.

“Go to the mikvah and light Shabbos candles,” wrote another.

“To learn and start saying the bathroom blessing,” wrote a third.

“Give daily tzedakah,” wrote a fourth.

“Maintain kashrut at home,” wrote a fifth.

“Won’t smoke or wear make-up on Shabbos,” wrote a sixth…and on and on

Who were these women? In a sense they were all ordinary people – like you and me. They were brought to Crown Heights from literally all four corners of the globe by some of the 2,000 shluchos who attended the conference that weekend. And something that Shabbos (the Shabbos of the Ten Commandments) touched their souls. The lectures they heard, the workshops they attended, the spirituality they imbibed that weekend permeated their souls and they wanted to do… more.

Will all these women keep all their pledges? Who knows? But I truly believe they will. Each one of these women entered the raffle voluntarily and on their own decided to pledge to undertake a new mitzvah. This act of devotion in itself is truly awe-inspiring.

Of course none of this would have happened had the woman with the challah covers not “accidentally” entered that elevator at that moment. Who said Hashem doesn’t run the world?

About the Author: Molly Resnick, a former NBC TV News producer and founder of MATCKH (Mothers Against Teaching Children to Kill and Hate), is a popular international lecturer and motivational speaker. She can be reached at mollymres@gmail.com. Read other articles by Molly Resnick at mrsmollyresnick.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Accidental’ Mitzvahs”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Steve Emerson, author, journalist and terrorism expert.
Haaretz Smears American Terrorism Expert with Political Hit Job
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Molly Resnick
bibi statue

Hellenism captured the imagination and hearts not only of the Greeks but of the majority of Jews in ancient Judea.

Resnick-032913

The motto “In God We Trust” is emblazoned on our currency and in courtrooms across America. And yet it seems we’re trusting less and less in God these days. With each passing year, secularists and sophisticated intellectuals manage to kick Him out just a little more from the public square.

Two weeks ago I found myself at the International Conference of Chabad Shluchos in Crown Heights running a program together with my friend Rivka Kotlarsky for 120 Guests of Shluchos – many of them not yet especially observant.

“If you put Google, Apple, and Microsoft together, it still doesn’t compare to the miracles of Jewish renaissance I have witnessed in this country,” I said to two reporters from The New York Times and Moscow Times.

I went to a sentencing several weeks ago – my first ever. The man being sentenced, William Hill, was convicted by a jury of brutally beating Jacob Gerstle, an 81-year-old member of my community in Washington Heights, in 2006.

Anger – no, fury – was my first reaction to news of the rampage at Fort Hood last week. Thirteen dead and thirty wounded is tragic enough. But how could the alleged murderer, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, have gone undetected on an American military base for so long?

I couldn’t wait to board the speedy Acela train to Washington, DC two weeks ago to hear an old friend of mine, constitutional legal wiz Floyd Abrams, argue before the Supreme Court. I had watched him twice before and was riveted each time. This case, involving the McCain-Feingold Campaign finance reform act, promised to be a landmark in First Amendment law. To watch top-notch lawyers spar swords with some of the best legal minds in the country is quite an experience and I couldn’t wait to feel that intellectual thrill once again.

Natan Sharansky has been a hero of mine ever since I learned this courageous refusenik refused to be exchanged for two spies without the Book of Psalms he had treasured for nine torturous years in Soviet prisons.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/accidental-mitzvahs/2013/02/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: