Recently, one of my readers over on twitter read “Living on the Mitzvah Plan” and asked for a list of mitzvot for working the plan.
If you haven’t read the article, the gist of it is in this paragraph:
The Mitzvah Plan isn’t just for depression. Bored? Do a mitzvah. Frustrated? Do a mitzvah. Insomnia? Do a mitzvah. What, you did it and you are still bored, frustrated or awake? Do another mitzvah. And another. Keep doing mitzvot until you feel better or the world changes. Then do another mitzvah.
The idea is that mitzvot can keep us busy when we need a plan for what to do. They can keep us busy and out of trouble. They can take us outside ourselves and give us some reason to feel better about ourselves.
So, @travelincatdoc, here’s a list for you, with examples:
- Care for the body (bathe, brush teeth, exercise, get enough sleep)
- Pay a bill. (Paying workers on time is a mitzvah.)
- Study some Torah (anything from reading a little to actual study of a commentary)
- Smile when you greet someone. (You don’t have to feel friendly, just act friendly.)
- Give tzedakah. Even very small amounts count.
- Say the appropriate blessing before eating. English is OK.
- Learn the appropriate blessing to say before eating.
- Refrain from participating in gossip (yes, NOT doing some things is a mitzvah.)
- Feed or water your animals.
- Befriend a stranger.
- Write a thank you note to someone.
- Say Shema when you get up and when you go to bed.
- Honor your parents.
- Do some small act of kindness for someone.
- Visit someone who is sick, or give them a call.
- Visit a mourner, or give them a call.
- Attend a funeral or shiva house.
- Attend a wedding and compliment the bride.
- Attend a Torah study class.
- Drive the car with an awareness of all the lives in your hands.
- Fix something at home that was unsafe.
- Teach a Jewish child to swim.
- Teach Torah to another Jew.
- Join a local minyan for weekday prayers, even once.
- Keep Shabbat.
- Keep the holidays.
- Apologize to someone you have injured.
- Accept an apology.
- Be honest in business.
- Pass up an opportunity to steal something.
- Help someone who is injured.
- Stand up for someone who needs help.
- Let go of a grudge.
- If you find lost property, try to return it.
- Treat a stranger kindly.
- Bless after eating. (Birkat HaMazon)
- Refrain from embarrassing another person.
- Refrain from hitting or cursing your parent.
- Get married.
- Tell the truth kindly.
- Rest on Shabbat.
- Rejoice on Shabbat and festivals.
- Repay a debt.
- Keep your word.
- Fulfill promises quickly.
- Do not leave something around the house that may cause injury.
- Refrain from murder.
- Refrain from cursing the ruler or government of your country.
- Refrain from idolatry.
- Love God.
Many of those commandments are worth their own articles. Are there any that surprise you? Any you’d like to add?