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The Infinite Value of a Single Deed . . .

Monday, 5 March, 2018 - 5:01 pm

As we conclude the book of Exodus, we read of Moses presenting a detailed account of the donations contributed for the construction of the Temple. Down to the very last piece of silver and copper that came into his hands, not a single coin remained unaccounted for.

There is a simple but very moving message here. In the biblical perspective, there is no contribution in life that is not worthy of being accounted for. Every deed counts; every word, each gesture must be reckoned with. No contribution is too small to be counted and valued.

For Moses the single silver or copper coin contributed by the poor man, the tiny bracelet or earring contributed by an individual woman, must be counted with equal sincerity and passion. Why? Because in Judaism there is no such thing as a small, insignificant act. Every moment contains the promise of eternity; every deed changes the world.

Moses understood the infinite value of a single deed of grace - of one mitzvah. 

There was once a poor Scottish farmer whose name was Fleming. One day, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby marsh. He dropped his tools and ran to the swamp. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family shack. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly.

"I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of." And that he did. Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated with honors from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London. In 1928 he discovered that certain bacteria cannot grow in certain vegetable molds and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill.

His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Look what can come from one single deed.

Shabbat Shalom,



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