Chesed and Tikkun Olam are tenets of our Jewish lives. The Mishna tells us: “The world stands on three things: Torah (Jewish learning) Avodah (service of God) and acts of Chesed (loving kindness)”. Acts of loving kindness are greater even than tzedakah. Tzedakah can be done only towards the poor; but loving kindness can be directed towards the rich and poor alike. Tzedakah is done with money; chesed with time or money. Tzedakah is only for the living; chesed can be shown to the living or the dead. Tikkun olam – repairing or healing the world, suggests that we should also look to support people outside our communities and address injustices or disasters at home and abroad. At Hampstead Synagogue, Social Action brings the elements of Chesed and Tikkun Olam together and through the year we address a range of issues and co-ordinate a variety of projects. For example, during the Shmita Year, we have partnered with the Brent Food Bank to collect food and support their work. And Mitzvah Day each year has become a focal point in British Jewry’s and Hampstead Synagogue’s annual calendar. It gives us a chance to come together to give our time and energy to a wide range of projects that make a tangible difference to those in need.
We want to do more…
Do you have ideas for social action at Hampstead that you’d like to explore? We’re always looking for ideas and for people to get involved. If you would like to learn more or help in any way, please contact us at the synagogue office.