With Any Given Mitzvah...
by, Moshe Burt
There is an old adage in the National Football League known as
"On any given Sunday."
On any given Sunday, any particular football team can defeat any
other team no matter how great or poor either team had been playing in the
season up until that moment. Unfortunately,
there were times when the old adage brought no encouragement to some really bad
football teams such as the terrible Philadelphia Eagle teams under coaches such
as Joe Kuharich, Eddie Khayat or Richie Kotite (in his last year coaching the
Eagles), the New Orleans "ain'ts", oops, I mean
"Saints" or this year's Dallas Cowgirls, er, Cowboys minus Troy
By and large, this phenomenon inevitably occurred often enough
during each season, season after season that it became a byword, an adage in the
Pro Football world.
Just as Pro Football fans of teams who were down in the league
standings came to be eternal optimists regarding their team's chances against
it's opposition each Sunday, so too, there is a concept in Religious Jewish
circles concerning the performance of kindnesses (Mitzvot).
The importance of performing the smallest Mitzvot can't be
understated. Whether it is
assisting your fellow when he is in need in a disabled vehicle on the highway or
overburdened with tons of grocery bags and a couple of little children, in need
of accurate directions from point "A" to point "B" or is
inadvertently locked out of the house, the helping and a record, a ledger if you
will, is kept on us all both individually and nationally.
That doesn't mean that we should be houghty and go around keeping
score or verbalizing about the Mitzvot that we do. Actually, the Mitzvah done spontaneously, because it is there
and without forethought of box scores or expectation of reward either in this
world or in the next, is reckoned with most favorably in Shemayim.
There is a Torah portion called "Aikev" which one can
understand to mean "heel".
The significance of the meaning of "Aikev" seems to the
recognition of the "lesser Mitzvot",
"commandments of minor importance which one tramples with his heels,
i.e., treats lightly." There
are four places in Torah where the message is conveyed -- Aikev - to be diligent
and careful with the small Mitzvot that one tends to tread on, to disregard.
And you know what Coach Lombardi said, "Your mitzvot aren't
everything, they're the ONLY thing."
During our current times, with the predicament and danger which the
Jewish nation now finds itself in, every Mitzvah that we do, no matter how
seemingly small or inconsequential, has deep meaning on
spiritual levels far beyond the earthly, physical level which we
can't begin to fathom on either an individual or national level.
The smallest kindness that one does for another just might be the Mitzvah
which tips the scale irrevocably toward the Ge'ula Shlaima, the Redemption of
the Jewish nation.
Recently Rav Aba Wagonsberg told over a story in the name of the
Brisker Rav who told this story over to Rav Schach, Of Blessed Memory.
Rabbi Wagonsberg is a Talmid of Rabbi Sheinberg of the Givat Shaul
neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The wife of the Vilna Goan once went out fundraising with a lady
friend. They were visiting people
door-to-door to raise money. They
knocked on one door and there was no answer, no one home.
continued up the block, the Vilna Goan's wife spotted the lady who
was not home earlier now returning home.
The Vilna Goan's wife put her finger up and called out to the lady,
"May we speak to you for a moment?"
As the Vilna Goan's wife and her lady friend got older they vowed
to each other that whoever died first would come back down to tell the other
what things are like in Olam Habba (Heaven).
It turned out the lady friend died first and, shortly after, came to the
Vilna Goan's wife in a dream.
The friend said the following to the Vilna Goan's wife, "They
told me in Olam Habba that I'm not permitted to tell you what it's like in Olam
Habba. But since we made a vow, I
came to tell you that your merit in Olam Habba far exceeds mine.
Do you remember that day when we went fundraising and we came to
someone's home who was not home?? Do
you remember that we later saw this lady B'derech (on the way, as we walked)
and you put out your finger?? You
can't imagine the value of that one Mitzvah."
Sefer Torah, Sifrei Torah, Sefer Torah Recycling, Sefer Torah repairs, Torah scrolls, Torah Scroll Restoratation, Sefer Torah restoration, Sefer Torah transfer, Israel, Eretz Yisrael, Mokom Torah, Mekomot Torah, chessed, mitzvah, tzedaka, donations, raise funds, Shuls, Israel, Eretz Yisroel, Yeshivas, Yeshivot, Israeli Yeshivot, chizuk, Ahavat Yisroel, Sofer, Sofrim, Sofrus, Synagogues, Synagogues in Israel, Beit Knesset, Israeli Batei Knesset, Israeli cities, Israeli towns, needy locations in Israel, Memorials in Israel Mission: Acquires donations of Sifrei Torah and raises funds to restore them to a Kosher state for transfer to needy locations in Israel.