For those of you who didn’t grow up jewish, or surrounded by enough jews to make an impact, lend me your ear. The rest of you, bear with me a moment. A mitzvah is technically a commandment. There are more of them than the 10 that Moses came down with. In fact, the Talmud refers to 613 in the bible. I’m more interested in the more colloquial term for mitzvah, that of a good deed. It’s not any simple good deed. It’s a good deed which takes on an air of holiness.
In college, I was randomly assigned an orthodox roommate one year. He had a funny way of saying “I wonder what the school in the college football game is…” to try to get you to turn on the television so he could watch TV during the sabbath. Any time that I did something nice for him, he would tell me that I earned some “mitzvah” points.
I liked the idea of a scorecard of holiness. So much so,that, years later, I trademarked the term. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but I like having it. I’m hoping that if we can put together this holiness boxscore that people’s competitive streaks will take over and they will do more good things. But can it really be a good thing if you’re doing it to beat your sister-in-law?
As we have been setting up Room2Care.com, we have found that people want to care for others. There are many people who obtain a meaning and satisfaction from aiding someone else. When I encounter that, I feel small. I want to make this caring contagious.
So how do we score it? How many mitzvah points is making dinner worth? Helping someone get dressed? Giving your brother a kidney? (I hope that’s worth more than making dinner) I want to see people competing on Facebook to see who has the most mitzvah points instead of the highest level on Candy Crush. Any maybe, once we’ve crushed the numbers, we will know how many mitzvah points it takes to get into heaven.