In her debut, Cohen recounts her experiences performing a variety of good deeds.
The author commenced her plan to carry out 1,000 mitzvahs, or acts of kindness, as a way of honoring her late father’s memory and coping with her loss. While the traditional meaning of the word “mitzvah” alludes to “statements and principles of Jewish law and ethics contained in the Torah,” Cohen writes from a secular standpoint, inviting readers of all faiths to embrace an altruistic approach to life. An active wife and mother of two, the author demonstrates that performing acts of kindness does not require excessive time or money, and the rewards for the giver and receiver are priceless. Organized categorically rather than by sequence of events, Cohen shares details of mitzvahs she’s bestowed upon a variety of recipients, including charity organizations, pets, those in mourning and the environment. Her preludes to each category of mitzvahs provide thoughtful perspectives on life. However, because her mitzvahs are grouped by common theme, Cohen’s anecdotes at times can blend together without distinction. On other occasions, the author takes herself a bit too seriously, describing a lighthearted mitzvah such as replacing toilet paper in a public bathroom as an act that can “prevent another person from having to experience this extremely vulnerable and helpless situation.”
An endearing reminder that small gestures can often go a long way.