web analytics
November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



‘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
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Pro-ISIS Group Says ‘Use Ferguson Flames to Fuel Terror in America’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Respler-112114

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

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: