For an Aleph, the seven cardinal principles are crucial to his understanding of AZA. This may come from practicing fraternity through a separates and cheer circle, wearing merchandise as a sign of chapter or regional patriotism, or displaying poised conduct during a business meeting. These are steps an Aleph can take to better himself inside of BBYO; however, I’d like to discuss ways to utilize each cardinal principle outside of the organization in order to serve your community, your family, and even yourself.
Patriotism - I’d like to interpret this in a broader sense as loyalty. Obviously, no one reading this article is going to commit treason, but let’s stray away from making jokes about our country, which are recurring, as I have seen memes about terrorism and 9/11. Equally as much have I seen and heard peers make Anti-semitic jokes and refer to the Holocaust, and in no way are these jokes funny. Being Jewish is something that all of us should be proud of, especially since we are in BBYO and, for the most part, have all been Bar Mitzvahed.
Charity - This is likely the easiest principle to fulfill outside of BBYO, and most of us should already be doing it. We all need volunteer hours, right? Still, charity is more than what may appear on your resume; doing good for a given cause substantially benefits the community, while also giving us a good feeling in our hearts.
Judaism - As I said before, you all should be proud of being Jewish. Staying loyal to your Judaism is very important, and accumulating some Jewish wisdom can teach you a valuable lesson or two. Go to service and stay for the Rabbi’s sermon. If you get invited to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, pay attention to their Dvar Torah speech. Or, take out an old prayer book and read the meaning of the prayers. Who knows? Maybe it’ll come in handy.
Fraternity - Inside AZA, fraternity encompasses brotherhood and is exemplified in a separates or a late night good-and-welfare. Like patriotism, I see fraternity in a broader sense outside of AZA. I interpret it simply as branching out to whoever– just someone that you can talk to about similar subjects and with whom you can develop a friendship. Be sociable, approachable, and kind. That way, you’ll be known for your positivity rather than being associated with negative clout.
Purity - I’ll try to keep this one short. Have fun, but not too much fun. Be smart, make the right choices, and make the right friends.
Conduct - I’ll also keep this one short and try not to patronize you all. Read the room.
Filial Love - Finally, we have what I believe is the most important of the cardinal principles. The fifth commandment says to “honor thy father and thy mother,” two people that brought us into this world and can take us out of it. Many of us have learned the majority of our wisdom and knowledge from them; without them, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this article. Respect your parents– they mean so much to me and should mean the same to all of you.
I’m sure the majority of what I have said above is already known to most of you, but it has to be reiterated. To those of you who read it, understood it, and will follow through with it– thank you. To those who read it and understood it– thanks. And to whoever read it and maybe blindly dropped a like– I thank you as well. Although, I hope all of you consider at least one piece of advice here because, who knows, maybe it’ll come in handy.
Reid Kaplan is an Aleph living in Dunwoody, GA with a great passion for BBYO, and is always willing to learn more about this organization!
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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