Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1,000 Mitzvahs {Review}

I received a review copy of 1000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire, and Change Your Life by Linda Cohen.

When Linda's father died, she took a "spiritual sabbatical"...what a great term. During that time, she embarked on a project to honor her father's memory - performing 1000 mitzvot...acts of kindness.

Note to purists: in the introduction, she explains that she deliberately chose to use the Americanized plural mitzvahs instead of mitzvot, and to loosely view the concept of mitzvot as "good deeds" instead of only "commandments."

The book is a restructuring of the blog that Linda kept throughout her project. The mitzvot (I can't write mitzvahs, sorry) are numbered out of order, but instead grouped by subject or type of project. I like that the various mitzvot that Linda lists are written as short vignettes, rather than merely prescriptions for action. Many of the concepts are things like "Mitzvah 943: Thank Someone for the Work They Do" - simple, and don't require a lot of work or materials to accomplish.

"Encourage Your Children's Initiative" to "Hold the Umbrella" - it's quite a stretch, perhaps, to consider these all mitzvot. But it doesn't lessen the power of the idea - living intentionally and mindfully can help assuage grief, pain, and loss. Ultimately, stepping outside our own bubble and helping others in small and large ways really does give us a sense of perspective and healing.

Check out the website: www.1000mitzvahs.org
and the Facebook page: facebook.com/1000-mitzvahs

Full disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher but no compensation in any other way. Anyone else want to send me free books?

1 comment:

Larry Kaufman said...

Can you write mitzvahs as in bar mitzvahs?