Where Every Jew is Family

I’m not Jewish

This week, I received a very uplifting message from a non-Jewish woman who sent a donation for the High Holidays.

It turns out that her neighbor was a Jew who recently passed away and she wanted to make a donation in his memory.

It is quite rare when I get a donation from someone who is not Jewish.  In fact, one person told me specifically to take them off of the list because they are not Jewish and won’t give to us.  Of course I complied, but the point is that we have to look out for each other.  If we, as Jews, don’t support Jewish organizations, the goyim aren’t going to rush in and save the day.

We’re a family; even more, we’re all one.  If you’ve every taken a moment to think about the words in the Yom Kippur service (and I strongly advise that you do), you’ll notice that when we confess out sins to G-d, we don’t say, “I did this, I did that.  Instead, we say “We did such and such.”  Why? What does the other Jew’s sins have to do with mine?

One reason is because we are not simply individuals.  As Jews, we share one ultimate, unified soul.  That soul is affected when another Jew does something wrong.  And we are all strengthened, when a Jew does a mitzvah.  In fact, as the Rambam (Maimonides) writes, we must view the word as an equal scale.  One mitzvah can tip the scale and bring the ultimate redemption.  So not only do we have the ability to strengthen each other with our mitzvos, but we can, quite literally, save the whole world!

This week, take a few minutes to think of a mitzvah that you want to do better, or start doing altogether.  There are many mitzvos that will take you 5 minutes or less to do.  Just 5 minutes (or less) of your day to give back to G-d, the Jewish poeple, the world.  You can give charity, put on tefillin, learn a little Torah, pick the brand with a kosher symbol when you shop, etc.

May this new year be inspired with joy, health and enthusiasm!  And may we all merit the ultimate joy, the coming of Moshiach!

G’mar Chasima Tova!  May you be sealed for a good year!
~Rabbi Yossi

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