I think of my Father, of blessed memory, every day, but I especially think about him when Shabbos is approaching. My family, including my children and my sister’s children, always had Shabbos dinner together while the kids were growing up. When we finished lighting the candles and saying the Shabbos prayers, my Father would go around the table and ask each of his five grandsons to give a “mitzvah report,” an accounting of any good deeds they had performed the prior week. The answers ranged from helping their mother clear off the dinner table, to saying something kind to someone at school to giving someone a compliment. Then the discussion would ensue; is what you did truly a mitzvah, an act of kindness, or was it something that one is expected to do. If Poppi (which he was fondly referred to) deemed their response to actually be a mitzvah, he would give them a dollar. Whether or not this kind of reward system is appropriate can be debated, however it worked. Every week these kids would leave the Shabbos table, already thinking about what their “mitzvah report” would be the following week.
At Menorah Manor, there is an Orientation held for all new hires. I welcome our new employees to our team, and give tell them a little about the history of Menorah Manor. I explain to them that one of the many reasons I have been at Menorah Manor for 26 years is because at the end of the day, I find real intrinsic meaning from my work. It is extremely easy to perform good deeds at Menorah Manor, and it doesn’t matter what position one holds. Whether someone is a floor tech, dishwasher, nursing assistant or bookkeeper, there are opportunities every single day to make a difference in someone else’s life. It is really simple – all it takes is pausing one moment to smile and say hello. The results are transformative in many cases. Surprisingly there are residents who live in our communities who have nobody – their spouses have passed away, they may not have children, or if they do, they live out of town. Many are physically unable to venture out. Just the simple gesture of smiling and saying hello is a true mitzvah, a good deed.
What is your “mitzvah report?”
- Judy Ludin, Chief Development & Community Relations Officer