Carrie / Nonfiction

1,000 Mitzvahs by Linda Cohen

Linda Cohen decides to perform 1,000 mitzvahs after her father’s death to work through her grief. Basically, a mitzvah is a good deed, or an act of kindness. Cohen reasoned that performing these mitzvahs would be beneficial to those around her, as well as honor her father’s life.

She started a blog to chart her progress and to keep a record of the mitzvahs she performed. In all, Cohen’s project to two and a half years to complete. Her book, 1,000 Mitzvahs, is a collection of those acts of kindness. The book also offers her thoughts on the mitzvahs she performed and ideas for people who are interested in starting their own mitzvah project.

The project was too lengthy to cover every single mitzvah, but it gives a good overview of it. One thing I didn’t like was that the mitzvahs started to feel very similar to me. There was a lot of “donate your time,” “donate money,” “volunteer at your children’s school.” I was hoping for a larger variety of mitzvahs, since there were 1,000 in the project.

Although I would have liked a bigger variety, I enjoyed this book. Cohen’s writing was very straightforward, and she does a good job of explaining the Jewish faith for those who are unfamiliar with it. She also gives readers ideas of how they can translate the mitzvahs to fit their own projects.



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