This period of time is dark, literally and figuratively. Daylight hours are short. The weather is cold. It’s easy to get sick. Lethargy sets in. There are no holidays. The financial crisis is raging. Israel is at war. What’s a Jew to do?

There’s a surefire way to illuminate ourselves and the world around us, to fortify our “good energy” levels, and dispel the darkness: perform mitzvot.

Yeah, I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s actually incredibly deep. You see, each mitzvah contains within it tremendous spiritual energy and power to affect us and our surroundings. When we perform a mitzvah we unleash this energy into the universe. That energy transforms negative energy into positive and illuminates darkness. Since all the energy in the universe is connected, the positive energy that you activate and release by performing a mitzvah can literally have an effect thousands of miles away.

Now, it might not feel like anything is changing, and you might consider your actions as insignificant, but trust me…each mitzvah you perform, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is affecting the world in a powerful way. Even though it works even if you do it without realizing it, it’s much more effective if you have an awareness of what you’re doing. In other words, “Kavannah”. Therefore, take a second to be aware of the mitzvah before doing it.

Some suggestions of easy to perform mitzvot that pack a whole lot of spiritual power:
1. say a blessing before eating
2. put some money in a tzedaka box
3. be nice to someone
4. say a prayer for someone who is in trouble

Let’s help illuminate the world…and ourselves.

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