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A Mitzvah is a good deed based on prescriptions in traditional Jewish texts.
In Hebrew, Mitzvah literally means "commandment" and is closely associated
with the word Tzeddakah which means "charity" or "charitable act." The word
Tzeddakah has the root of the Hebrew word Tzedek which means "justice;" and
someone who performs many just charitable acts can be considered a Tzaddik,
or righteous person.
"The beginning and the end (of the Torah) is the performance of (acts of)
lovingkindness." -Talmud: Sotah, 14a
There are a number of ways to incorporate your juggling into doing acts
Do a free show for your favorite Jewish charity/organization. See
"Making Pro Bono Shows Pay Off For You" by Mary C. Johnson (Juggler's World,
Fall 1993), for some excellent ways for professional performers to
rationalize giving away a show.
Visit a hospital and entertain in the children's ward. Aside from
the importance of the mitzvah of Bikur Holim (visiting the sick), there is
nothing more rewarding than visiting children in the hospital and livening
up their experience there. You can do weekly bed visits to the children and
then an occasional show for the whole ward. The
Jerusalem Jugglers have been doing weekly visits hospitals around
Jerusalem, and it has been a real success. It has cheered up the sick
children and it has given some of our less experienced jugglers a chance to
perform; even the more experienced jugglers benefited by trying out some new
Teach prisoners in a jail or juvenile delinquents how to juggle.
This will help their self-esteem and give them positive outlets for their
energies. See "Creativity- a Power that Tears Down Walls" by Sara Felder
(who is Jewish) (Kaskade, Summer 1996) or an on-line
interview with Sara where she recounts her meaningful experience at San
Quentin State Penitentiary.
Conduct a juggle-a-thon for a Jewish cause. Have your juggling
club meet in a public place and for each hour make sure there is always at
least one person officially designated to keep juggling and then switch off
so everyone gets a chance to be the designated juggler. This is like a
juggling marathon relay. Have other members of your club stopping passers-by
and soliciting them for donations to your cause. People can donate an amount
per hour and simply multiply that times the number of hours you will be
juggling. So, if the juggle-a-thon lasts from 9am-7pm (10 hours), and
someone donates 50 cents for each hour, you will earn 5 dollars from that
donor. It is best to have this event around holidays while people are out in
public places and thinking about charitable causes.
Overall, it's easy to see how the mitzvah of Tikun Olam (fixing the world),
can be accomplished through juggling.