Bar Mitzvah, chesed, Jerusalem Marathon, Matan, SHALVA

Go Ahead – Prove Me Wrong!

A few days ago, Matan came home and declared that he wanted to run the 10K at the Jerusalem marathon…and that he wanted to do so for SHALVA. Now, Matan started running about a year ago and he’s completed a few 5K runs. We’ve been very impressed with his initiative and commitment and have cheered him on (ok, mostly from the sidelines) with these projects.

I was surprised, however, to hear that he wanted to run it to raise money for a cause. I don’t know why it surprised me. After all, Matan is being raised in a culture of giving and doing for others. Most recently, he helped us to raise thousands of shekels for Shaare Zedek hospital as part of the bike ride that Yarden undertook for Stella and the many other cancer patients at the hospital. Every month we walk up and down our street collecting food for poor families in the area. And once a month, if not more often, we bake desserts for the Pinat Chama, the small house near our home where soldiers can get free coffee and cake while they are serving.

The list goes on and on.

But I guess I’m always surprised when the things we are trying to teach our kids through example actually permeate and get taught.

So, Matan is training to do his first 10K, and he’s raising money for SHALVA. SHALVA is a leader in the field of disability awareness and intervention for children with special needs in the Middle East. Founded in 1990, they provide services to more than 500 people with special needs around Israel with round-the-clock therapies and tailor-made programs. They have every therapy imaginable to help children and young adults from hydrotherapy and music therapy to pet therapy, computer therapy, art therapy and beyond.

So Matan is undertaking his first personal chesed (charity) project right before his bar mitzvah. It’s funny – I had recently thought about the fact that I wanted him to do some form of chesed tied to his bar mitzvah, but I hadn’t gotten around to thinking about what he should do.

What a gift that he should come up with something entirely on his own and beg us to sign him up.

He’s checking the website every single day, by the way, to see if new people have pledged for his run. Matan would love your contribution – even if it’s only for a few dollars or shekels. To him, everything is exciting and every dollar/shekel makes a difference. We know many of you so generously gave to Stella’s Army and to Yarden’s bike ride. I reminded Matan that he might not get too many pledges as a result of that; that our friends and family might be burnt out after all of the fundraising that we just did for Stella.

Here’s an idea – Let’s prove me wrong!

Sponsor Matan Here!

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