As these lines are being written, our Twitter feeds, Facebook accounts, e-mail inboxes, evening headlines and phone lines carry ominous reports of troubled times in Israel. Our extended Jewish family is under fire. Rockets are raining down on Israeli cities and towns, and our troops are face-to-face with ruthless killers in Gaza.
And every Jew is asking him or herself: What can I do to help?
Is there anything we can do? Most of us are hundreds or thousands of miles away, in our own communities. Yet our very being cries out: What can we do?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, taught us that yes, there is something we can do.
The Rebbe taught us the power of a mitzvah.
A mitzvah, a G-dly deed, has the power to reach deep into the core of our being—where we are all one, and the physical distance between us is of no consequence. At this core, a positive deed on our part will help bring salvation to a brother and sister in distress.
Rabbi Chaim Nochum Cunin, visiting Israel from Chabad West Coast Headquarters in Los Angeles, wrapped tefillin with a soldier earlier this week while temporarily relieving him of his head gear.
During past conflicts in the Land of Israel, and during times of danger for the Jewish people, the Rebbe made practical suggestions of mitzvahs that would elicit G-d’s blessings and protection.
Let us not underestimate the power of good! Take a minute to do one or more of the following and add your pledge to our mitzvah counter. You can make a difference!
Tefillin: If you already put on tefillin every day, encourage a friend to do so. If you don’t yet, now is a good time to start! Click here to find out how to put this important mitzvah into practice, or contact your local Chabad center for assistance.
Shabbat candles: Women and girls all over the world light candles every Friday evening before darkm bringing much-needed light into a world rife with darkness. If you already put light Shabbat candles, encourage a friend to do so. If you don’t yet, now is a good time to start! Click here to find out how to put this important mitzvah into practice, or contact your local Chabad center for assistance.
Mezuzah: If you don’t yet have mezuzahs, get them now, one for each doorway in your home! If you already do have mezuzahs, it may be time to have them checked to ensure that the words on the parchment have not faded. Click here for more information about this special mitzvah.
Charity and acts of kindness: Put a coin in a charity box, or extend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Click here to send a letter to a soldier in Gaza.
Torah study (suggestion: our Daily Study page contains selections from the Torah)
Say a prayer for the safety of the soldiers of the IDF, and for all residents of the Holy Land (suggestion: Psalms 20, 22, 69 and 150 are traditionally said in times of distress).
Purchase a letter: Be a part of a special Torah scroll written in Israel right now. Joining together to write a scroll expresses our inherent unity. One nation, one Torah, one G d. Moreover, a letter in the Torah places its owner in “G d’s book.” “At that time,” the prophet Daniel says, “your people will be delivered, everyone who is found inscribed in the book . . .”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon pens the first letter of a Torah scroll written for the security of the troops. To his left is the sofer, Rabbi Mordechai Lishner; on his right is Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, director of the Chabad Youth Organization in Israel. (Photo: Shalom Lavi)
Whatever you choose, make sure to log your mitzvah on our counter and encourage others to do the same.