Rabbi Benjy: Making every day a Mitzvah Day
People often wonder why charity is so important? Why the stress on giving? In a world which is so hard to get by for our jobs and relationships and families – surely charity begins at home? How much is giving to others important? How do we find the balance?
Another question you may have about Mitzvah Day – is how can we take it into our lives for every day? How can we make it a day that lasts through out the year?
One of the three pillars of Judaism and indeed the world – is “Gemilut Chassadim” doing acts of kindness and charity with others.
In fact this pillar preceded any others as our forefather Abraham is known as the “pillar of kindness”
However – what is strange is that the Torah goes out of its way to mention that when setting up his tent – he set his wife’s tent up first “veyita oholoh”. This seems strange – as he was someone who literally gave his life to giving yet we hear very little about that.
Let’s go to another character – “Lot” Abraham’s nephew who literally risked his life in order to host guests in Sodom – yet he is not remembered as one of the pillars of kindness.
How so? And why is this the case?
The answer actually is motivation and intent – which is the cornerstone of what real kindness is.
Abraham could have been the worlds greatest giver – but maybe that was his intent!! Perhaps he knew of the fame and splendour that would come with being remembered as one of the pillars of kindness! What is the litmus test of true intent?
The answer lies with how one treats ones nearest and dearest. Because there is no drama or name in lights and little recognition. That is the litmus test of a true giver. Therefore the Torah goes out of its way to tell us that Abraham’s giving was real, as even those closest to him he looked after.
Lot, however was the opposite in his zealous drive to host guests he was willing to literally risk the lives of his family and daughters. That is perverted giving. He is not remembered as a pillar of kindness and Chessed.
Let’s come back to us and Mitzvah Day.
The purpose of Mitzvah Day is to awaken in all of us that drive to give to others. But there is an opportunity every day to really test or intent and to become true givers – and that is in our homes, in our personal lives with our nearest and dearest. Those are the acts that can make every day a Mitzvah Day.
Rabbi Benjy Morgan is the CEO of JLE, born in New York City, and raised in the UK, Rabbi Benjy Morgan spent 14 years studying in the top Rabbinic Training Academies in the world. He received Semicha from both the Rabbinical Supreme court in Israel and the Jerusalem Kollel in 2010.
He is an award winning public speaker and lecturer, and an avid singer and guitar player. Rabbi Morgan leads many annual trips abroad, weekly lectures, events and Friday night dinners that are held for hundreds of Young Professionals in the JLE Centre and in many venues around the world.
As CEO, Rabbi Benjy Morgan is responsible for the innovation and strategy of the JLE in the 21st century. He oversees the education across the five different departments in which the JLE operates. He guides 35 dedicated staff, and dozens of weekly programs that service over 1000 individuals each week.