Promoting sustainability and social entrepreneurship programs has helped create the opportunity for many people to be a part of the Mitzvah to not wear Shatnez.
Focusing on social good, this initiative helps support Jewish professionals in need.
Please note in your contributions that it is for Shatnez awareness as 100% of all donations in this campaign are tax deductible and will be used for only for marked shatnez-free clothes and laboratory checking fees!
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Shatnez is wool and linen woven together, and is prohibited to wear. During interviews, at work, or even in synagogue and at community events, suits are often worn, and need to be checked by a professional, and repaired or mended as needed.
Prepared to cover the costs of repair, even in the situation where a new suit must be purchased, this campaign will be able to assist, as whole suits can occasionally be found to be needed to be given away to those not bound by this religious obligation.
Rabbi Dovid Wachs, from the Philadelphia Etz Chaim organization, in his Parshas Chukas drasha shared these “Lessons from a Red Cow”
When we learn about the mysterious mitzvah of Parah Adumah (the red heifer), the strangest thing about this mitzvah is that it presents a paradox. How can one mitzvah purify the impure and make impure the pure?
This is why the Torah begins describing this mitzvah with the words, "This is the Chukas HaTorah." This mitzvah is a Chok (statute) which is the name given to laws in the Torah that have no obvious rational explanation. Other chukim in the Torah are mitzvos like Shatnez (not wearing wool and linen together) and Kashrus.
The Medrash tells us that G-d revealed the understanding of the red heifer procedure to only one person, Moshe Rabbeinu.
Even the wisest of all men, King Solomon, could not understand it. Why, though, would G-d give some of the mitzvos as chukim, laws that defy rational explanation?
Why not make them all rational?
How can we be commanded to do things that our intellect can't grasp?
One answer given by the commentaries is that ideally we are supposed to keep the Torah simply because G-d commanded us to do so, not because it necessarily makes sense to us or matches our values and lifestyle. Think of a young child who still has to follow his parent's rules even if they don't make sense to him. We adapt our lives to fit the Torah, not the other way around. Although most of the Torah's mitzvos have a logical foundation, there are some of these "illogical" chukim that help us to internalize this mindset.
Another explanation is given by Rabbi Yitzchak Salant, of blessed memory. We are often confused by the turn of events in our personal lives as well is in world events - natural calamities, personal troubles, seeming injustices - just to name a few. By observing the chukim of the Torah, we train ourselves to accept that we don't have to understand everything that happens, nor can our limited minds grasp the Mind of G-d. We are supposed to strive to learn Torah and understand to the best of our ability what's within our realm to understand, but we don't question G-d's ways when we don't understand - we accept them - just as we accept the laws of the Parah Adumah, Shatnez, and Kashrus.
By exerting oneself fully in his performance of mitzvos, he is showing that his actions serve a greater purpose. It is this which allows for nature to continue, and for the brochos to come forth. However, one who performs mitzvos out of convenience, or as a logical approach to life, and not out of full submission and recognition to the absolute sovereignty of HaShem over the world, completely misses the point of the mitzvos. The result of this is going with you casually, because his mitzvah performance has no relevance to the existence of HaShem, and mitzvos and nature should be seen as two unrelated concepts.
On the other hand, one who his resentful of Torah and mitzvos, and is disturbed by them, and loathes those who follow a Torah lifestyle, is lacking in the basics. The Ramban explains that it started because he didn’t understand the reasons behind chukim. He was disgusted by seemingly baseless mitzvos such as shatnez and parah adumah, and from there, even the logical mitzvos, which help maintain a moral society, became burdensome over him, and he did away with those as well. Rashi describes the unfortunate demise of such a person.
Especially as the masses come together to make a Kiddush HaShem through tikkun olam with ReJews, when we understand and when we struggle, may there only be spiritual growth and connection around the world!
לע''נ ר' משה יצחק ז''ל בן ר' אברהם אריה נ - יְהוּדָה