One Mitzvah leads to another, while one sin leads to another,
and when one acts justly it is very good. – Pirkei Avot 4:2
This Saturday evening and Sunday morning, we join forces with our friends from Temple Israel and Beit Emanuel to help others. Every year in November, Jews world-wide dedicate one Sunday to do good, and to talk about it. All the other times, we should just do good things without talking about it, but this time is different. We are going public, because we want more people to follow our lead and to go out and help, as one mitzvah leads to another.
Our kindness and our actions—no matter how small—matter. The way we treat each other matters. We see that clearly in our Torah portion. Jacob has left Canaan, and has come to Haran, whereupon he sees Rachel and sees the stone covering the well. It should say “there was a large stone on the mouth of the well” but that’s not the actual order of the text. It actually says “the stone was large on the mouth of the well.” The s’fat emet understands this as a metaphor: the stumbling block—our evil urge—may be everywhere, but it is heaviest and largest on the mouth of the well. What is the well? Our words, our mouths, our hearts, our intentions, our own actions. Once Jacob understands the situation, he, by himself, removes the stone from the well. He takes the action. He does what is right at that moment. His actions improve the fate of the shepherds around him.
Jacob’s actions matter and so do ours. When we choose to act with kindness, even if the action is small, it changes the life of that person. If you follow the lead of others, or an inner drive, it doesn’t matter, just do it.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Details about the Mitzvah Day can be found on page 1 and on our Facebook page: https://tinyurl.com/yb4cedu7 .
Please join us. Thank you.
Shabbat Shalom – Rabbi Adrian M Schell (Source: Yair D. Robinson)