These last few weeks have been filled with such energy, with everyone fully in back-to-school mode. It is especially exciting to see our children and teens participating in-person for the first time in 18 months at our Sunday and B’nei Mitzvah (GJEP) Programs. My child also started in the program for the first time (the youngest student this year!), and he had such fun learning through an interactive session about the Jewish concept that the entire world stands on three pillars: Torah, avodah (prayer), and gemilut chasadim (good deeds).
Recently, I read an article by Rabbi Howard Witkin that speaks to this power of three. He writes, “We have three primary relationships in life. We have to learn to live with ourself, with God, and with others.” He adds, “Human beings interact with the world on three levels: thought, speech and action. Each of these three is the key to the three basic relationships: You act on yourself through thought or will. You interact with God through speech. And you relate to others through actions.”
Now that GJEP is back in-person, this pillar of relationships with others — upheld through acting with good deeds and good intentions — has a renewed significance for us. And in these past couple of weeks, as our students learned about the three pillars with such enthusiasm, I witnessed this gemilut chasadim in action. Teen volunteers guided their students with kindness, teachers helped new students feel comfortable, and the environment overflowed with energy and joy.
Let us continue upholding the world by committing to act with loving kindness towards one another.