Home Repair

Friday, 23 September, 2022 - 6:19 am

Have you ever had a broken appliance to deal with? In our present dispensable era, fixing appliances is less and less common. I can’t imagine how many repair shops have closed down in my lifetime.

How about a leaky faucet or broken air conditioner?

We once had a leak that lasted for months (possibly years) without being able to trace the source.  It seemed to subside, but then came back. After much problem-solving, we finally discovered the culprit: A cracked valve in a second-story bathroom.  The water was continuously leaking drip by drip until enough had accumulated that it seeped through the floorboards and through the downstairs ceiling. Now we had a puddle on our dining room floor.

The crack was tiny, but the damage quickly spread.  In fact, we discovered the source by cutting out a part of the ceiling.

One small crack, yet so much influence.

Indeed, nothing is dispensable.

The Talmud states, “Greater is the measure of goodness than the measure of retribution.” If something so small can be so integral and carry so much weight in a harmful or irritating fashion, how much greater is the power for good.

The lesson I take is the lesson of this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim.  The opening words of Parshat Nitzavim are, “You stand upright this day, all of you, before the L-rd your G-d: Your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, and all the men of Israel; your little ones, your wives, and your stranger that is in your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water.”

Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the founder of Chabad, explains, “Like the various organs and limbs of a body, each of which complements, serves and fulfills all the others, so, too, the Jewish people: the simple "wood-hewer" or "water-carrier" contributes something to each and every one of his fellow Jews, including the most exalted "head."

As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, let’s remember that our own collective home – the body of the entire Jewish people – requires each of us in order to be complete.

By recognizing that nothing – and no one – is dispensable, we will stand once again as one people. And, we will be judged favorably for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Year – in matter and spirit.

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