Tolstoy came to the same
conclusion. “Everyone thinks
of changing the world,” he
wrote, “but no one thinks of
changing himself.” And so
the world continues with its
myriad flaws, everyone
complaining about the common
sins of others while paying
very little attention to
"Most people want to change the
world to improve their lives, but
the world they need to change first
is the one inside themselves.
"There is a movement today that has taken the
concept a step further into practice. It
concerns itself not with the really large
issues, issues which realistically most of us
will be unable to influence, but with the
smaller daily interactions which in fact define
everyday life. It’s called “small acts of
kindness” and I love it precisely because its
demands are so easy and yet, if universally
practiced, would really change our lives.
"The suggestions are simple, Choose one or a
Give a genuine compliment to somebody at
least once a day.
down what you appreciate about another
family member and pass it along.
- Check in
with someone who’s sick.
- Ask if
you can help someone who may be having a
difficult time in life right now.
your vehicle to take someone without one
shopping for their necessities.
- Hold the
door open for the person behind you.
- Make a
card for someone special.
flowers anonymously to a hospital patient.
- Ask a
senior citizen about their life story and
- Give a
hug to a loved one or friend.
- Offer to
pay another person’s food bill.
- Lend a
hand to someone doing hard work.
to a homeless person, perhaps give them some
- Leave a
kind server a generous tip.
- Let a
person out from a side road who’s waiting to
get into the main road.
another parent out with a stroller or
someone a book that you no longer need.
your parents or grandparents a call just
Volunteer at a community event.
plans are great – but we rarely do
them. Impressive ideas for changing
the world are, yes, impressive but
frequently impractical and
unrealizable. So perhaps this year
we could scale down our ambitions
and think small – and in that way
change ourselves and our own world."
This is a
revisit and slight rewrite of an article
by Rabbi Blech
"Elul: How to
Change the World"
HaTorah International with excerpts
on this site in
the full text of this
Rabbi Emeritus of
which he founded
our little town
and actively served for 37 years,
Torah scholar who, since
1966, has been Professor of Talmud at
in New York City.
Rabbi Blech is an educator,
religious leader and
lecturer, and he is a prolific author of
several hundred articles and 19 highly
combined sales of over a
one of which,
Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, was
chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as “the
single best book on Judaism in our generation.” Another book by
The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the
Heart of the Vatican, was the subject of a special edition
of 20/20 on ABC-TV in 2008. In a national survey
by Jews Week,
Rabbi Blech was ranked #16 among the most influential Jews
in America. He is also featured in the latest book by our
friend, now retired
Locals of Oceanside..
My wife, Sue, and I
would like to take this opportunity
to wish all of you and all of your loved ones a
SAFE, PROSPEROUS and a GOOD NEW YEAR, 5783,
and may you all be well and inscribed in the Book of Life.
if you will be fasting,
have an easy one.
hear the sound of the shofar again, click
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