Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We live in a world that is people-oriented. There were times throughout history that small groups of people lived together without having contact with anyone else. The distances and lack of transportation, and obviously the lack of our technological era all contributed to the isolation from anyone that wasn’t part of their tribe.

In today’s communication age, it is a matter of how quickly one can press a button, while sitting right in their own home, in order to connect to the entire world instantly.


What are we doing to maximize this amazing gift of connection? And are we really communicating with one another, or are we just sending off technical messages that vanish in the air just as quickly as they were sent?

As soon as a person gets used to whatever they have, or are doing, it becomes mundane, and we feel that it isn’t so special or important after all. We might think that only if we are part of some extraordinary project, is there importance to it. A small deed, like a smile or a hug, has almost no significance whatsoever.

In today’s society with all its wonderful and technological advances, the personal and physical contacts seem to take back stage.

I’ve mentioned in the past that the smiles and love icons we send each other on a family chat or over an email, to loved ones, are cute and loving, and their affect can last a few seconds, maybe more if one looks at them for a few more minutes. However, a good deed one does in person, to another, can last forever.

We are all busy with our daily lives. Do we see the lady who dressed up nicely today but had no one to tell her how lovely she looks? Do we see the young man hanging out on a street corner not doing much and stop to think maybe he needs a good word to help him get going?

The examples are endless and our race down life’s path is faster than we can even imagine. A second goes by and it doesn’t return. We are blessed with such great ability to reach out to each and every one that we see. There are people all over the globe that can be reached technologically. But how can I reach that amount of people personally or touch them emotionally?

If I am walking down the street and tell someone I don’t know how lovely they look today, I cause them to smile. That smile has energy in it. That person then feels special even for a moment and they give off a positive energy into the air, into the world. That person may pass on that good word to someone else, and the chain is endless, and can reach everyone. The same is true and even more powerful and energetic when one is doing a good deed and passing that energy on and into the world.

In our present world where everything can be done with the touch of a finger, we must expand our touch to the hearts and souls of the people that we come in contact with.

This week we start the seven weekly portions of the haftarah reading, which lead us up to the high holidays of the coming year. During these weeks we read how G-d is sending us comfort and hope of the redemption and of the days that we will rejoice in the presence of the final salvation of the Jewish people and of the world itself. How can we be part of this joy? How can we make the words that were written so long ago regarding our final redemption come to life and feel that what was written then, is relevant now?

Goodness is eternal and the deeds that we do which seem small and insignificant, like giving a smile or a good word to someone are stronger and everlasting, more than we can even imagine. That positive energy we created with our giving that good word to another person not only created goodness here on earth, it also reaches the high heavens and are saved eternally. All that goodness is added up every day and that is what gives the world the energy to exist the next day as well. It is written “Olam chesed yibaneh” the world is built on charity. And charity, begins with a smile, and with a good word.

Let us take these next weeks which lead us up to the New Year, with the touch of a smile or a good word that will connect us all to a higher purpose and to a more personal connection of love and acceptance, between all of Am Yisrael and the world at large.