How sad that after all these years, Mitzvah Day in Bergen County, sponsored by the Federation of Northern New Jersey, joined by dozens of synagogues and Jewish schools, continues to be a day of social action only (“Be part of Mitzvah Day,” November 1). The word mitzvah means any commandment from God, whether ethical or ritual. Why define it, then, as simply meaning good deeds?
At a time of massive assimilation and intermarriage, it behooves all of our Jewish organizations to have both kinds of mitzvos available to the thousands of Jewish adults, teens, and children involved. This means we should be encouraging the purchase of mezuzahs at discount, the giving of inexpensive Shabbat candelabras with candles, the donning of t’fillin and perhaps discount coupons to kosher supermarkets in an attempt to increase kashrut observance.
If Judaism continues to be a concentration on only ethical moral values, to the majority of Jews then we will continue to lose to assimilatory forces.