Saturday, January 07, 2017

Pay it forward

Dear Friends,
  I sincerely thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes, it truly means a lot to me to get such well-wishes from the four corners of the globe.

I am going to ask a little something more of all of you for my birthday:

If you truly value my friendship-- if I have helped your community; if I have shared with you my time, or ideas or love: please consider paying it forward to honor my birthday.

Please consider making a modest donation to a charity whose mission you support.  Or please give alms (zakat, tzedakah) to someone less fortunate than you. Or please feed a stray animal. Or please donate your time, as I consider your time to be equally valuable.

I will spend my birthday doing all of the above. I will wander the medina handing out alms and little triangles of cheese to the kitties.  I plan to make a modest donation to Seeds of Peace, a camp I worked out that brings together Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian, Indian and Pakistani teens together for the summer at a veritable camp o' conflict in the sylvan charm of Maine.

My father and recent FB friend Dr. Stephen Rockower likes to say: "if we want to make things 100 percent better, than we have to make 100 things 1 percent better."

I agree with this practical attempt at Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).  We have a lot to do to make the world a better place for all.  None of us will see this task completed in our lifetime, but as the sages taught: just because we cannot complete the task does not mean we are free to abandon it.

Please consider honoring my birthday by helping someone else, and you will make this the best birthday I have ever had in my 37 years in this world.

I thank you in every language I know.

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