A Mitzvah; an act of Human kindness.....have you ever.....?

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What is your experience with Mitzvahs?
I have received a Mitzvah from someone else 25%  25%  [ 1 ]
I have made a Mitzvah for someone else 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I have both made and received Mitzvahs 75%  75%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 4

Blindspot149
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17 Nov 2009, 6:11 pm

I recall standing up for a boy at University who was constantly being teased and verbally bullied.

One day I confronted his tormentors verbally, although I had the build to follow it through, and it was over.

Although we weren't close friends I remembered his name after 26 years and yesterday I found him on Google; he has set up his own niche consulting business.

I have emailed him to congratulate him.


What are your experiences of giving or receiving a 'Mitzvah' and what impact did that have on you or the person that you helped?


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Last edited by Blindspot149 on 18 Nov 2009, 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

Aimless
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17 Nov 2009, 7:23 pm

Is that what Mitzvah means? Cool.
I have been the beneficiary of many acts of generosity. I have given a young woman with an infant who was living in her no good boyfriends van a place to stay.


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Nephesh
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17 Nov 2009, 7:26 pm

I often have no relationship whatsoever with those I help, so I would have no knowledge of how they were impacted. The person in need standing on the exit ramp with a sign - I'll hand them some currency from my wallet and a nutrition bar. That way they have something to eat now, and a little bit of money to by more food later. Some would say that I'm "enabling" them by doing this mitzvah. However, what I do is between Hashem and myself. Likewise, what they do with the money is between them and our Creator.



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17 Nov 2009, 7:31 pm

Nephesh wrote:
I often have no relationship whatsoever with those I help, so I would have no knowledge of how they were impacted. The person in need standing on the exit ramp with a sign - I'll hand them some currency from my wallet and a nutrition bar. That way they have something to eat now, and a little bit of money to by more food later. Some would say that I'm "enabling" them by doing this mitzvah. However, what I do is between Hashem and myself. Likewise, what they do with the money is between them and our Creator.


It's not always so cut and dried is it? I know people who won't give money but they will buy the person a meal. I think about stuff like this. Would Jesus give cash to a crack addict who said he was hungry? I guess he'd probably buy him a meal.


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Nephesh
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17 Nov 2009, 7:34 pm

Aimless wrote:
Is that what Mitzvah means? Cool.
I have been the beneficiary of many acts of generosity. I have given a young woman with an infant who was living in her no good boyfriends van a place to stay.


Mitzvah is Hebrew, it means "Good Deed" and can include simple Biblical obedience.
Mitzvot is the plural form of the word, so places in the Bible where you see the term "good works" mentioned, you can think back to this Hebrew word.



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17 Nov 2009, 7:40 pm

Nephesh wrote:
Aimless wrote:
Is that what Mitzvah means? Cool.
I have been the beneficiary of many acts of generosity. I have given a young woman with an infant who was living in her no good boyfriends van a place to stay.


Mitzvah is Hebrew, it means "Good Deed" and can include simple Biblical obedience.
Mitzvot is the plural form of the word, so places in the Bible where you see the term "good works" mentioned, you can think back to this Hebrew word.


Yes, my familiarity with the word is through Bar Or Bat Mitzvah- What does the whole phrase mean?


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Nephesh
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17 Nov 2009, 7:56 pm

Aimless wrote:
Yes, my familiarity with the word is through Bar Or Bat Mitzvah- What does the whole phrase mean?


"Bar" is Aramaic for "son of" - like Simon bar Jonah would be Simon the son of Jonah. Likewise, "Bat" (with an "ah" sound) is Aramaic for "daughter of".

So a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age where the former child declares themselves to be a "son of good works". Any sins that they do from that point onwards are now on their own shoulders, where before the parent was held accountable. The former child is now considered to be an adult in the eyes of the religious court.

This also serves a signal to the parents that they are to no longer treat their child as a child. Now they are to treat their offspring as one who is responsible and capable of making their own decisions in life. (Not that you would actually turn over the car keys to them yet.)



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18 Nov 2009, 1:03 am

Aimless wrote:
Is that what Mitzvah means? Cool.
I have been the beneficiary of many acts of generosity. I have given a young woman with an infant who was living in her no good boyfriends van a place to stay.



Thanks Aimless. Strangely it is often only in moments of crisis like the one you describe, that our Humanity to truly revealed, in all its incredible beauty. :flower:


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18 Nov 2009, 2:24 am

Nephesh wrote:
Aimless wrote:
Yes, my familiarity with the word is through Bar Or Bat Mitzvah- What does the whole phrase mean?


"Bar" is Aramaic for "son of" - like Simon bar Jonah would be Simon the son of Jonah. Likewise, "Bat" (with an "ah" sound) is Aramaic for "daughter of".

So a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age where the former child declares themselves to be a "son of good works". Any sins that they do from that point onwards are now on their own shoulders, where before the parent was held accountable. The former child is now considered to be an adult in the eyes of the religious court.

This also serves a signal to the parents that they are to no longer treat their child as a child. Now they are to treat their offspring as one who is responsible and capable of making their own decisions in life. (Not that you would actually turn over the car keys to them yet.)


I like that rite of passage idea. I have no tradition like that to pass on to my kids, and I wish I did. Does it occur at a specific age, or is it unique to each individual? (My 12-year-old son is sweet and wonderful, but nowhere near ready for a Bar Mitzvah equivalent.)



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18 Nov 2009, 10:15 am

Aimless wrote:
Is that what Mitzvah means? Cool.
I have been the beneficiary of many acts of generosity. I have given a young woman with an infant who was living in her no good boyfriends van a place to stay.


The strict meaning of "doing a Mitzvah" is to carry out (or not transgress) the 613 commandments or Mitzvoht given to the Jewish people by G-D. The broader term means showing forbearance and loving kindness to one's fellow human and to do good deeds. It says in Perkei Avot: On three things does the world stand: On Torah, on Works and on acts of loving kindness.

ruveyn



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18 Nov 2009, 11:18 am

Thanks to everyone for helping to explain so clearly the origin and current popular use meaning of Mitzvah.

I'm really excited to hear other more stories of actual Mitzvahs so don't be shy and share with us.


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18 Nov 2009, 2:50 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Aimless wrote:
Is that what Mitzvah means? Cool.
I have been the beneficiary of many acts of generosity. I have given a young woman with an infant who was living in her no good boyfriends van a place to stay.


The strict meaning of "doing a Mitzvah" is to carry out (or not transgress) the 613 commandments or Mitzvoht given to the Jewish people by G-D. The broader term means showing forbearance and loving kindness to one's fellow human and to do good deeds. It says in Perkei Avot: On three things does the world stand: On Torah, on Works and on acts of loving kindness.

ruveyn


Who was the source of that wonderful quote; I think it was " Do not do what is hateful to you, that is the whole of the Torah, all the rest is commentary?"


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Nephesh
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18 Nov 2009, 3:23 pm

elderwanda wrote:
I like that rite of passage idea. I have no tradition like that to pass on to my kids, and I wish I did. Does it occur at a specific age, or is it unique to each individual? (My 12-year-old son is sweet and wonderful, but nowhere near ready for a Bar Mitzvah equivalent.)


For girls, they become Bat Mitzvah at their 12th birthday. For boys they become Bar Mitzvah at their 13th birthday.



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18 Nov 2009, 3:24 pm

Aimless wrote:
Who was the source of that wonderful quote; I think it was " Do not do what is hateful to you, that is the whole of the Torah, all the rest is commentary?"


Rabbi Hillel said that when asked to give all of the Torah while standing on one leg.



Blindspot149
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18 Nov 2009, 4:05 pm

Nephesh wrote:
Aimless wrote:
Who was the source of that wonderful quote; I think it was " Do not do what is hateful to you, that is the whole of the Torah, all the rest is commentary?"


Rabbi Hillel said that when asked to give all of the Torah while standing on one leg.




Mazeltov :sunny:


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18 Nov 2009, 4:33 pm

Nephesh wrote:
Aimless wrote:
Who was the source of that wonderful quote; I think it was " Do not do what is hateful to you, that is the whole of the Torah, all the rest is commentary?"


Rabbi Hillel said that when asked to give all of the Torah while standing on one leg.


:) I had forgotten that detail-when did he live? Has he left behind any writings?


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