Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
My husband and I got married in April. We were engaged for a year-and-a-half, and I spent our entire engagement growing my hair out as long as I could. I did not know exactly how I wanted to have my hair done on our wedding day, but I did know that I wanted as many styling options as possible at my fingertips.
So I refused to cut my hair. I went all out during the engagement, and followed a hair dresser friend’s advice to just not touch my hair – not even a trim! On my wedding day, I was thrilled that I was able to have the up-do of my dreams…and the day after my wedding, I was equally thrilled (all right, maybe not equally thrilled, but pretty close!) that finally, after so many months, I could cut my hair.
When we got back from our honeymoon, I called the salon and made the next available appointment. I didn’t just wanted a trim, I wanted it OFF. A big change. A new me.
As my appointment drew nearer, I became more aware of my hair. There was a lot, and it seemed like a waste to just cut it all off. I began to research organizations through which I could donate it. I finally settled on Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and began reading about the donation requirements. I then called the salon to make sure that they were able to cut my hair in a way that would enable it to be donated, and set off for my haircut. I was so excited, and so happy that I was doing a mitzvah while also getting a fresh new look.
I left the salon with a foot less hair, packed it up, and sent it off to make someone else’s life a little bit better. It was that simple!
Since my haircut, I have been thinking about how easy it can be to do a mitzvah. Even if you don’t have hours to spend volunteering, or money to donate, sometimes you can do a mitzvah through an activity as normal and mundane as getting a haircut.
I won’t be heading to the salon again anytime soon for such a major chop, but I noticed in a recent trip to the grocery store that they have receptacles to which you can bring your plastic grocery bags to be recycled. There are also incentives for bringing your own re-usable bag, as part of a collective effort to make the world better. Just going grocery shopping is a chance to do another mitzvah!
My hair donation experience helped open my eyes to the plethora of mitzvah-making opportunities around me. What are some other easy do-good-while-doing-normal-stuff examples you can think of? Share your thoughts in the comment below!