A lot of people are surprised that I am Jewish and I’m going on a medical mission that was founded out of a Catholic Church. The majority of people who question it are not Jewish, but Christian themselves. And, just to be clear, no one has questioned it in a nasty way, more just a, “wow, that’s surprising,” way.
One of the basic tenants of Judaism is mitzvah, or the act of human kindness. In fact, we just got a letter home from our daughter’s second grade Sunday school teacher that said, “we are going to focus on three things this year, the Jewish Holidays, learning Hebrew and mitvzot (the plural of mitzvah).” Human kindness is such an integral part of Judaism that 1/3rd of my daughter’s Sundays are going to be focused on it.
To me, human kindness trumps any organized religion. If we all were kind all the time, who would need religion anyways? We would find the things were looking for in each other.
My anxiety has crept up a bit lately about going to Haiti. Will my kids be okay without me? Will Key Hyundai be okay without me? Will I be able to sleep okay in Haiti? I know it’s more fear of the unknown than anything else. But, whenever that f
ear and anxiety creep in, I think back to the early lessons of my childhood, the most important thing in life is to perform mitzvot, and I know that I am doing the right thing and that not only will it all be okay, but it will be exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
L’shana tova to all my Jewish friends. May the new year be filled with human kindness for all, regardless of what religion you choose to practice.