homepage homepage programs

Parashat Haye Sara: The Small Act of Kindness that Changed History


“Rivka said, ’Drink sir’, and she quickly let down her pitcher from her hand and gave him to drink together with his camels.”

Of all the stories the Torah tells, the one concerning a young girl giving a thirsty man and his caravan water hardly seems to be an earth shattering event, yet that small act of kindness changed her life forever and immortalized her as a founder of our nation.

We often ignore or minimize the countless small things that we do or that happen in our lives throughout the day. Our conscious focus is often on the large monumental events that are happening throughout the world. Presidential impeachment, California fires, defiant demonstrations in the Middle and Far East, global warming or the latest scientific breakthroughs make the news and consume our interest. So we might think, what significance can there be to the little acts of kindness that we do day in and day out? They don’t move mountains or shake up entire populations?

The Torah is giving us a wake up call. Even the most mundane acts of feeding a stranger or greeting your child or family member with a smile has a profound significance. It is these small acts of kindness and generosity that make up G-d’s world. Our job is to do what is right and proper. The amount of impact our actions will have is not for us to consider, because it is out of our hands.

One young girl gave a thirsty man water and changed the course of history forever. 

~ Rabbi Shaul