Erev Shabbos Behar-Bechukosai 5773

Dear Parents,

Little things can have far-reaching consequences. This is a foundation of our faith; that every action done and every word spoken is recorded for eternity and will bring about an appropriate consequence – either now, later or a lifetime later. We believe this intellectually, but when confronted with an example of it, it is awe inspiring.

I am writing these words from the annual Torah Umesorah Principals Convention in Pennsylvania. I was approached yesterday by an individual I barely recognized. He knew who I was and thrust a book into my hand saying – “you were so kind to my father, A’H, we want you to have this book.” It took me several moments to figure out who and what this was all about.

Here is the rest of the story. Approximately 12 years ago at a previous Torah Umesorah convention I was approached by one of the organizers asking for help. One of the early pioneers of the day school movement, now an elderly gentleman had come from Eretz Yisroel to attend the convention, and through some glitch, did not have a handicap accessible room assigned to him. Being there without my wife, they asked if it was OK to allow a cot to be brought into my room to make room for this gentleman. It was not a problem and I was now privileged to having a distinguished personage with whom to share my room.

I don’t recall exactly who won the argument about which one of us would sleep on the cot – I seem to recall losing. Nevertheless, he couldn’t stop thanking me and from that time until his passing several years later, he would repeatedly express his appreciation to me by sending articles on Chinuch that he authored and published. I appreciated them and was somewhat overwhelmed by his ongoing efforts to keep in touch.

It’s been a number of years since his passing and I honestly have not had occasion to think about or recall him on more than one or two occasions. After his passing, his family gathered his numerous articles and compiled them into a beautiful Sefer, which is the book I was presented with yesterday, and am excited to read through. While this little incident is an inspiring portrayal of one man and his family’s elevated expression of Hakoras HaTov for a minor, minor Chesed, it struck me as a manifestation of how the impact and consequence of even a small, seemingly insignificant action remains present in this world.

We need to internalize this idea and imprint it upon our children. Hashem cares so deeply about us, and considers us so important, that every action and every word has cosmic significance. This should help temper our behavior and inspire our actions and enable our children to see their own greatness and thereby propel them to reach for the stars.

May you be amply rewarded for all the `little’ things and have a wonderful Shabbos,

Rabbi Kalman BaumannPrincipal

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