While walking around the city today, I saw a sign for a dog who had been found. It made me really happy not only that someone found a lost pup, but also that he or she went of the way to post signage and help find this guy his proper home. In Jewish culture, this good deed is known as a mitzvah.
Ironically enough, when I saw this sign, I was walking home from completing my own mitzvah of the day at OneFamily, a non-profit organization helping families cope with the aftermath of terrorist attacks.
A 12-year-old girl named Michal Belzberg founded OneFamily in 2001, after a suicide bombing killed 15 people and left an additional 130 injured in a crowded corner of Jerusalem’s downtown. When I walked by the corner of King George and Yafo yesterday, I had no idea this seemingly peaceful area was once a chaotic corner of annihilation.
The bombing occurred on Belzberg’s birthday. Shortly after, she was supposed to have “the” Bat Mitzvah of the year but decided to cancel her party, donating all of the would-be funds —including contributions from friends and family — to those in need.
Since then, OneFamily has continuously served Israel’s community, from widows to orphans, soldiers and aid workers.
Every year around Purim, those involved in OneFamily receive specially packaged and delivered gifts. Today my friends and I wrapped them!
Each family is receiving a cookbook, cookies and chocolate. The cookbook was created by Dina Kit, a full-time volunteer who has lost two sons in recent years. Each recipe compiled within the pages of the book are from other mothers who have also lost their children. Here, they are able to let their child live on by teaching the world their child’s favorite meal.
As it is now, the book is only in Hebrew (sorry, mom) but they’re hoping to make it in English soon as well.
I loved this volunteer work today because it reminded me that no deed is too small, and it goes to show that you never know how one good turn can change the world. I felt amazing wrapping gifts, and I’m sure 14 years ago, little 12-year-old Michal had know idea her mitzvah would turn into a lasting non-profit agency in Israel, the US, the UK and Canada.
You never know what people are going through. Before today I had no idea 1 out of 4 people in Israel suffer from PTSD. Today reminded me that a simple smile, holding the door or helping a stranger could really make a positive impact on a person’s day.
I implore each person who read this to try and do at least one mitzvah a day, and join me in striving to make the world a better place.
If you’d like to learn more about OneFamily, or discover ways to contribute, click here.
For more posts by Talia, please visit her blog medinasmedia.