24k For 24k is For US
When facing difficult times, many people tend to turn to God and ask: how could you do this? But we would like to propose a different perspective. Instead, let us ask: why would you do this? The coronavirus outbreak has had unspeakable effects on the world. There is no one that hasn’t been affected. But instead of being angry at God, we have decided to use this opportunity to launch a campaign that will bring us closer to Him and to each other.
Our campaign focuses on spreading kindness throughout the Jewish community. We have named the campaign “24k for 24k” in memory of the 24 thousand students of Rabbi Akiva that perished. Our goal is to bring people together through random acts of kindness. It can be anything from saying Tehillim for a sick person, to picking up some groceries for a neighbor. By joining together and spending even just 5 minutes doing something kind, we can reach 24 thousand acts of kindness in no time.
Jewish history has a habit of repeating itself. Most obviously is the Jews tendency to get too comfortable. However, even today, when facing the difficulties of the coronavirus, something feels eerily familiar. We are brought up being told that Rabbi Akiva’s 24 thousand students were all killed by a terrible plague as a result of their inability to be kind to one another. While we understand that attempting to understand Hashem’s motivations is futile, we can still learn from their mistakes. Sfira is a time of mourning and remembrance. This year, while facing our own set of fears and difficulties, let us mourn the 24 thousand students with 24 thousand acts of kindness.
This is where you can get creative. There is no rule book for what it means to be kind. Kindness is an extremely personal process and should be treated as such. For some, giving tzedakah is the most difficult and for others it’s just taking time out of their days. Find what it means for you to be kind.
For additional ideas go to: www.24kfor24k.com
Sum It Up
At www.24kfor24k.com we are tracking all of these amazing acts of kindness. Sum up your action and share it with us on our website. Many years ago, Rabbi Akiva’s students taught us the importance of being kind. Today, as we remember and mourn them during sfira, we hope to spread kindness throughout the Jewish community once again.