National service - an idea from an AJEX service

By Rabbi Aaron Gol...
November 21, 2010

If national service means a life-time of commitment to community and volunteering, I guess I am for it.

My model was the AJEX members who stood in front of our Ark seeking God's blessing.

"Your contribution stands as a model for all-time, for what you did for society was not a one-off or time-bound to war. I know you as people who have volunteered time and time again and are still doing so. Within our and I am sure the other local Jewish Communities many activities would not have occurred if it were not for your efforts. You have cared for, schlepped for, cooked for, driven for, written for, added-up for. You are the embodiment of the second part of the AJEX motto, “help for those who need in the present.” Your national service did not stop at demobilisation.

I never thought I would be advocating the notion of national service but I believe I do today. Much of our society has lost the idea of activity for the good of others unexpectant of reward. I meet many good people who define their care, goodness and charity by the way they have a tight-knit family and look out for friends. However, their ma’asim tovim, acts of goodness, are ones that I believe should be assumed. How we treat the stranger, the poor, the needy, the other is rather how I would define service – service to our country, to humanity, to God."

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