Dear Rashi Community,
At a heartbreaking time like this, our core values at Rashi can be a valuable guide and foundation to doing good in the world. Our tradition teaches that one way to counter-act evil is to outweigh the evil with ma’asim tovim – good deeds. We learn from the rabbis that “the world rests on three things, on Torah, on Avoda (worship) and on Gemilut Chasadim (deeds of loving kindness). Love, compassion, prayer and deeds of loving kindness for all people can help re-align the world.
It is in that spirit that the Rashi community will be joining others from all over the country to commit to doing acts of kindness in memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and in honor of those who survived.
When should you start?
You can begin right now! We have included a list of concrete examples of acts of kindness. Our hope is that this list will get you thinking about the range of possibilities and inspire you to create your own expressions of kindness.
How can you start?
Share your acts of kindness with the Rashi community by going to the Rashi blog and posting them in the comment box. There you also will be able to learn what others are doing in our school community.
Our goal is to “bundle” every 26 acts of kindness that we receive from the Rashi community and share them with the Sandy Hook community.
While the profound sadness remains, turning to our core values and doing ma’asim tovim – good deeds – is a meaningful place to start.
Ideas for Acts of Kindness
Walk a neighbor’s dog.
Photograph someone being kind to another.
Transport someone who can’t drive.
Invite a classmate to eat lunch with you.
Treat a friend to the movies.
Make a slide show of favorite photos for a friend or family member.
Make dinner for someone who has just returned from the hospital.
Plant a tree.
Surprise someone and invite him/her for a first-ever sleep over.
Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
Make a video for someone with whom you haven’t spoken in awhile.
Smile a lot. Hug a lot.
Donate to a food pantry or homeless shelter.
Tutor a student; be a reading buddy.
Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
Make a card at home and send it to a friend.
Help an elderly neighbor carry the garbage out.
Tell all your family members how much you appreciate them.
Bring flowers to someone who is sad.
Read to a child.
Donate 26 pairs of socks to a homeless shelter.
Give another driver your parking spot.
Make a CD mix of your favorite music for a teacher, sibling or a parent.
Donate books to a daycare center or school.
Collect mittens or hats and give to those in need.
Let someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store.
Surprise construction workers on a cold, rainy day with hot chocolate.
Take your dog and pay a visit to a housebound person.
Visit someone who is sick and cheer her/him up with funny stories.
Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
Send a handwritten note of thanks to a person who has helped you in the past.
Visit with an elderly person and listen to their stories.
Give a huge tip to someone when s/he least expects it.
Smile a lot. Love a lot.
As my friend Kara Hartwell Raudenbush expeirence… When someone in front of you at the register at the market is short by a dollar or so, offer to make up the diiference.
I went with a group of colleagues to Newtown CT the other night to provide grief education and support to parents at a preschool in the town.
Five acts of kindness:
1. David Singer let other drivers in front of him in heavy traffic
2. Samantha Singer collected other people’s documents from the printer and distributed them to save them some time at work
3. Samantha introduced a new employee to the CEO
4. Josephine Singer gently pushed a younger child on the rope line at school so they could have fun and not be scared
5. Josephine comforted a friend who fell and got hurt on the playground
A kindergarten student greeted me at her classroom door earlier in the week with a large ziploc filled with coins and dollar bills. She asked that I give her tzedakah to people who need it.
i donated blood today and gave the cafeteria coupons (given out for donating blood) which I had collected to the drivers at the front door of the hospital.
Our daughter Ariella donated books to the Ronald McDonald House in Brookline.
Goldie and Jacob brought Chicken Soup and hugs to Bubbie when she wasn’t feeling good.
Ariella, Neal and I along with my in-laws, and Rashi Grad Sydney Blankstein and her grandmother, served Christmas Dinner to homeless at the Mass Ave Baptist Church.
Someone we don’t know found an envelope with a holiday card on the street that was meant for us. It was wet and yucky and he/she could have left it there, but they picked it up and put it in a fresh envelope and re-addressed it and sent it us with a new stamp and put in an anonymous note letting us know where they found it and that they did not want us to miss getting the card. A stranger doing something small for someone they don’t even know and doing it anonymously in the spirit of the holiday is really a random act of kindness.
Someone left a voice mail on our phone that was not for us so we called back to let them know that they had a wrong number and they should recheck the number for the person they are looking for. They were quite greatful as it was related to something they were trying to purchase and they would have missed the opportunity had they not known they left a message in the wrong voice mail. Sometimes as small, 30 second gesture can make a big difference to someone else.