I have no idea what Mitzvah day is. Well, I have a vague idea of it being a day when Jews dedicate themselves to doing good works in their community. Yesterday, my friend Monique Leahy, the genius who keeps lawyers digitally plugged into the news they need to know in their specialty fields, let me know there was a Mitzvah Day going on down on the street near our building. We're at Fifth Avenue and 26th Street, the heart of the Flatiron District so I rushed to the window and saw a series of vans snaking its way down the street. Here's a picture out our office window.
Out of the vans people were hanging, waving their arms, shouting something, singing. The van line slowed and suddenly some young men got out of the vans and starting dancing in a circle with other men on the sidewalk, then in the street. I'm told that part of the protocol on Mitzvah Day is to gather other Jews who happen by and engage them in the good works as well.
Whether this is correct or not, what I can tell you is that the parade of vans, the dancing, the singing, the noisy and joyful conversations that were taking place on the street were just what was needed on this second – hah! – day of spring in New York City. We've had slushy snow flurries for days now and winter seems to have had an unusually tight lock on our throats, not giving up easily to the spring we're all anticipating.
Long live Mitzvah Day. It brought spring in on a song and dance and that's as it should be.