The JC Leader: Mitzvah Day uplift

December 05, 2016 00:35

Every year we report record participation in Mitzvah Day - and 2016 is no exception. The figure of 25,000 UK participants in 1200 projects is massive; but Mitzvah Day is now an international phenomenon, with 40,000 people taking part worldwide and 150,000 hours volunteered. The genius of Mitzvah Day, however, is not the numbers involved.

No, what makes Mitzvah Day so special is the exact opposite: that for all its scale, it is at heart a series of personal, individual undertakings. Whether you are part of a group of 30 people undertaking a project that has been weeks in the planning, or simply one person knocking on a neighbour's door to pop in for a chat, you are an integral part of Mitzvah Day. Because it is really nothing more than people showing kindness. Small as that sounds, in a world when kindness to others sometimes seems a rarity, Mitzvah Day is so uplifting because it reminds us just how easy it is to do good.

Fascist Leaders

On Sunday, a major European nation could have a fascist head of state. Norbert Hofer's Freedom Party is usually described as 'far right'.

This is a euphemism. Like the Front National in France, the Freedom Party's makeover should fool no one. Both are fascist in origin and fascist in belief.

Nothing would more clearly illustrate the depth of the crisis in European democracy than the election of a fascist as Austrian President - as if Kurt Waldheim was not bad enough.

December 05, 2016 00:35

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