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April 26, 2012 - Image 83

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-04-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

AN AMERICAN RESTAURANT IN AN AMERICAN PALACE.

Myriad Acts Of
Loving-Kindness

Author moves through grief by
performing mitzvahs.

wasn't thinking about the 613 [mitz-
vot described in the Torah]. I knew
that acts of loving-kindness (gemilut
inda Cohen's relationship with
chasadim), giving of oneself without
her father was not easy, but
expecting something back, would
they worked out their differ-
count," explains Cohen, who gave up
ences before he died in 2007.
her home business of selling skin
As Cohen looked for a way to get
products to work on the book.
through the grieving process, she
One described mitzvah involves
decided that positive
a cousin living in
action in honor of her
Michigan. The woman
father would be the best
was raising money to
approach for her.
combat multiple scle-
The idea that resulted
rosis, and the Cohens,
involved performing
parents of two, donated
mitzvahs and writing
to that charitable effort.
about them. A blog
Cohen, who earned
(www.1000mitzvahs.
degrees in Jewish stud-
corn) became the book
ies and community ser-
1,000 Mitzvahs: How
vice from the American
Small Acts of Kindness
Jewish University
Can Heal, Inspire and
in Los Angeles and
Linda Cohen
Change Your Life (Seal
Brandeis University in
Press; $16).
Massachusetts, spent
Cohen, 43, mar-
about three years on the
ried to former Oak
mitzvah project.
00 0
Parker and medical
"I loved the process
software engineer
of writing," explains
1\111- z vAll s
Aaron Cohen, will
Cohen, who had kept
discuss and sign cop-
personal journals and
ies of her paperback
sensed her dad's pres-
6:30 p.m. Monday,
ence as she wrote in
April 30, at the Oak
his absence. "It felt
Park Public Library in
very therapeutic:'
a program arranged by
Cohen, daughter-
Book Beat in Oak Park.
in-law of Elaine and
"This is about keeping
Seymour Cohen of
life simple in ways that ,
West Bloomfield,
involve giving back, and
visits Michigan about once a
even though it comes from a Jewish
year. During the book-signing trip,
perspective, the theme is universal,"
her family will be celebrating the bar
explains Cohen in a phone conversa-
mitzvah of cousin Matthew Blackman
tion from her Oregon home.
at Temple Israel.
"I wanted to connect with people,
"I'm thinking of writing another
and this project has allowed me to
book," she says. "I also want to share
receive and give while being open to
the mitzvah idea in a corporate way
the lessons that have resulted from
with companies doing volunteer pro-
these acts:'
grams. I'm still involved with some of
Each mitzvah is revealed as a
the volunteer projects described in the
vignette so the book is not meant
book." 111
to be read from cover to cover. The
Linda Cohen will speak about
mitzvahs she describes fall into a
her
book and sign copies at
range of categories and include ways
6:30
p.m. Monday, April 30, at
of expressing thanks, donating money
the
Oak
Park Public Library,
and volunteering — all within the
14200
Oak
Park Blvd. To reserve
context of the author's interests.
copies
of
the
book or get more
The essence of each group of simi-
information,
call
(248) 968-1190
lar mitzvahs is summarized with a
or
visit
www.thebookbeat.com
.
single sentence.
"When I started the project, I

Suzanne Chessler
Contributing Writer

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April 26 • 2012

59

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