By Julia Zinn, Urban Mitzvah Corps 2018 Team Leader
The Torah portion this Shabbat is Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11), which means to utter. In this portion, Moses repeats and stresses the importance of the Ten Commandments when the Israelites enter the land of Israel, and he utters the Shema and V’ahavta.
“Hear O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love God, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words which I command you today shall be upon your heart and teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk upon the way; when you lie down, and when you get up. And bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes. And write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.”
V’ahavta teaches us that love of God should be a whole body experience – Heart, Soul, and Might. The past four weeks at Mitzvah Corps have pushed us in all aspects of our being. Our hearts have been affected by so many of the people we have met over the past four weeks, by the children at Play SAFE, the speakers and presenters we have heard from, and of course, each other. Our souls have grown as we have prayed and sung as a community each day, and as we have challenged ourselves and others through our learning and discussions, overcoming obstacles together. And we have worked with all of our might physically at Elijah’s Promise, running around with the kids at Play SAFE, and getting up each morning to go do good in the community, even when we have been exhausted.
As we reach the end of our experience at Mitzvah Corps New Jersey, my hope is that we learn from our experiences here in New Brunswick and devote all our hearts, souls, and might to continue to work for justice.