Posted on October 2, 2011
An op-ed in the JTA online caught my attention today. Jon Rosenberg’s title, “Make the Shofar Blast a Call to Serve” truly hits home this time of year. Reflecting on the past year during the Rosh Hoshana / Yom Kippur season, it’s good to take account of the good we’ve done during the year and the good we aim to do in the future. Volunteering at a Jewish organization is a great way during this holiday season to reach out and help your fellow Jew. The Beis Hamikdash (The Temple that stood in Jerusalem) was destroyed because of sinas chinam (baseless hatred) and it can be rebuilt on ahavat chinam (baseless love). What better way to love your fellow Jew than to reach out and give to them? The article states, “This year when the shofar blasts, I hope it will be a call to serve” and I couldn’t agree more. There are many great causes that one can get involved with and at Areyvut there are many opportunities to make a positive difference such as with Mitzvah clowning. Mitzvah clowning is a fun opportunity to make others smile and truly brightens the day of anyone a clown encounters. When children or teens get involved with our programs, it provides them not only with the knowledge that they can make others genuinely happier, but provides them with a sense of pride in the growth of the Jewish community which they help to foster. Rosenberg writes that, “We know…short-term volunteering, if thoughtfully done, can lead to long-term engagement. Pathways should be forged that lead young adults from light interest in an issue to more graduated levels of commitment.” We should encourage our children from a young age to reach out and give in any capacity they can to the Jewish community and to the community at large in order to raise thoughtful, helpful, and caring individuals. This Rosh Hoshana, let’s take a lesson from the shofar and hear it’s blasts as a call to strive to serve our communities the best we can.