A Mitzvah a Day Tradition for Hanukkah

In a conversation about starting new traditions as parents on Facebook, PJ Library mom Allegra shared this fantastic and sweet idea that she developed for her family. With her permission, we're sharing her post with other families who may also want to start their own Mitzvah Moose (or mouse or milipede) tradition.

This year we are starting a new Hanukkah tradition this year with children, ages three and six: The Mitzvah Moose! We bought a little stuffed, Hanukkah-moose and named it Meira. You can use just about any stuffed animal, but if you like this little moose, it’s currently for sale at a few big box retailers like Target.

Every night, we write our children a letter from Meira with a mitzvah-focused activity to start their day. Sometimes she’s also got a treat or prop to help the kids in their daily mitzvah-mission. Here’s our list for this year, organized by day:

  • "Will you have tea with me? It's a mitzvah, hachnasit orchim, to welcome guests and share a meal!"
  • "I picked out my favorite snack to donate to a food bank. Will you help by donating a food you enjoy? Feeding the hungry is a mitzvah, maakhal revi’im!"
  • "Can you help me take this bag of paper to recycling? It's a mitzvah, bal taschit, not to waste resources!"
  • "Will you help me make cards for your grandparents? Honoring our elders, kibud zekaynim, is a mitzvah!"

Related: How To Keep in Touch With Grandparents

  • "I'm raising money for _(pick a local charity)_. Will you donate some of your allowance to help ___? Tzedakah and tikkun olam, repairing the world, are mitzvot too!"
  • "Please give these treats to Melvin and Charlie (our pets), and give them hugs and pets to show them you care. Kindness to animals or z'ar ba'alei Chayim, is a mitzvah!"

Related: 6 Ways to Show Kindness to Animals

  • "Today, we celebrate Chag HaBanot, The Festival of the Daughters, in honor of Yehudit, as well as all of the Jewish women whom we admire, but are often forgotten. Will you help make kugel in memory of Yehudit's story, and do something kind for your mother? Passing on traditions, l’dor v’dor, and honoring your parents are mitzvot!"
  • "I'm thankful that your family shared Hanukkah with me this year, and that we fulfilled so many mitzvot together. Will you think of a reason you're grateful for each member of your family and tell them how much you appreciate them? Gratitude is a mitzvah!"

We actually plan to keep Meira on display all year to periodically leave a note with a new mitzvah activity. We would love to hear which mitzvot your family includes this year. Hanukkah Sameach from our family to yours!

Looking for more mitzvot activities? Try the PJ Library Mitzvah a Day Printable.

Note: This post was written by Allegra Bree Moreno