Dear friends,

 

It is not often when a proverb could serve as a vivid illustration of a point.  There is a proverb which states that

 

“Action speaks louder than words”.

 

I am a proud parent of two children who attend Rabbi Rodal’s of Chabad of Mount Olympus Sunday Hebrew School.  And this simple proverb magnificently describes the Mitzvah Day event held by The Hebrew School on January 30, 2005.

 

As a parent, I often catch myself thinking that I lecture my kids on what is right and wrong, but how do we make them follow the clues we leave behind.  The best way is to learn from another proverb: “lead by example” or “do as I do, not as I say”.  How do we avoid sounding like hypocrites in the eyes of our own children when we preach to them?

 

I dare say that the Mitzvah Day at the Hebrew school was a far more meaningful bonding experience between the children and the parents than an expensive vacation the money can buy. 

 

We tell the kids that we love Israel, we care about the victims of the Tsunami disaster, we worry about the environment and we support our soldiers.  We take the kids to a Jewish school because we want them to know the history of their people; we want them to learn the moral values to guide them when they grow up and we hope that we kindle a Jewish spirit inside their little hearts.

 

That is why the Mitzvah Day should be implemented in every Jewish school as a mandatory part of the curriculum where parents are required to participate.  The children not only saw the parents gather from a list of items to bring to school that day, they also gathered their own toys and clothe for donation.  They had an opportunity to ask questions and learn about various projects and they had to pick the projects they wanted to work on.  And they had plenty to choose from.  It was either to create cards for the soldiers in Iraq and Israel or to make food baskets for the poor or to pack toys, clothe and gifts for the victims of the Tsunami disaster or gather the Judaic items for the Russian and the Ukrainian kids, or to plant trees or to visit a Jewish retirement home.  But what was most wonderful was for our children to see that we, the parents, took that day seriously and that we worked side by side with our children showing them with our actions that we actually care.  And, if I may be so bold as to say that when my children will be asked about the concept of Mitzvah, my children will know its meaning and when they are as parents are called to participate in the Mitzvah day, they will answer the call.  And this, my friends, no money can buy!