There are some weeks when it seems as if everything going on in the world around us is disconcerting (to say the least). There is division, strife and suffering. One could say that the level of discourse is at an all-time low, but there isn’t a whole lot of discourse going on. There is a lot of talking “at,” and not a whole lot of talking “with.” It spreads a cloak of darkness across society.
Like a ray of sunshine on cloudy day, though, there are still acts of kindness that warm our hearts and remind us that there is a lot of good in the world. I am reminded of Oskar Schindler, who in the midst of all the atrocities during the Holocaust, saved hundreds of Jewish lives; of course, this was only one person and his actions were only a drop in the bucket compared to what could and should have been done. Even so, that drop in the bucket made a huge difference—especially to those on his famous list and their families.
Closer to home, there are friends and neighbors who are also helping to bring light into a dark world. They are talking “with” their fellow human beings. They are trying to lighten the burdens of those who suffer. It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but its significance is great.
On this Shabbat, I will be thinking about what I can do to “be the light” we need in this world. I am only one person; alone I cannot solve the challenges we face. The more who join the effort, however, the higher the odds we can redeem this very broken world.