“What is CHESED,” you may ask? CHESED literally means “kindness”—to do acts of kindness. It is the hallmark of Judaism. The Talmud teaches that CHESED is so essential to life that it is one of the 3 pillars upon which the world exists. There is no greater good than when one bestows kindness upon others. There are many acts of kindness that are easily within our reach. Many of these acts are free, which is always a good thing, easy and doesn’t require much effort. Think about a smile when someone is having a rough day or a word of encouragement to someone who is struggling. Like I said: free, easy and effortless! Some acts of kindness require a bit more effort on our part.
At Ohev Shalom, the CHESED Committee is focusing on the following areas:
- Phone calls to check on congregants-these may be congregants who are recovering from illness, congregants without family in the area or someone who needs a kind word
- Visits to congregants who are hospitalized or recovering from recent illness or surgery
- Providing transportation to those who need it-bringing congregants to Ohev Shalom for services or various events, providing a ride to the grocery store or hair dresser
- Food-what committee at Ohev Shalom would be complete if it didn’t include food? This could mean providing meals to congregants who are ill, meals to a family who just had a new baby, meals to a family sitting shiva, meals to someone who may be struggling financially
Obviously, for CHESED to be successful, we need your help. Many of these activities, such as calling to check on congregants, only require a few minutes of your time. The good feeling you will get lasts much longer!
If you can volunteer your time to help with any or all of these areas, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office 610-874-1465. If you know of someone who could benefit from CHESED, or if you yourself need support, please contact our Executive Director, Missy Lowdermilk, or Rabbi Gerber.
Just as the Holy One, blessed be God is called ‘Compassionate,’ you should be compassionate; just as the Holy One blessed be God is called ‘Gracious,’ you should be gracious; just as the Holy One blessed be God is ‘Righteous,’ you should be righteous.