“It just doesn’t pay,” Rivka said. “It’s too large an amount. I’ll never be able to raise that much money!”
“I agree it’s quite a sum,” Dad concurred, “but why don’t you give it your best try?”
“I like to finish what I start and if I know I can’t, I prefer to pass on the project altogether,” Rivka said.
“Every little bit is part of the whole,” Dad replied. “Take my advice, and you’ll be part of an important achievement.”
One of the wiles of the yetzer hara is to make a good deed seem too large to carry out. The well-intentioned person becomes discouraged about achieving the goal and opts to do nothing. Dovid Hamelech was denied the opportunity to build the Beit Hamikdash. Even though Hashem didn’t permit him to realize his lifelong dream, Dovid chose to write a song for the dedication ceremony, Mizmor Shir Chanukat Habayit l’Dovid (Tehillim 30), as part of his contribution to the mitzvah of building a House for Hashem in Yerushalayim. In spite of the fact that Natan Hanavi told him he could not build the Temple, it didn’t stop him from doing all he could to participate.
A fund-raiser spoke from the pulpit, encouraging all who were present to contribute to a cause. After several large donors made their pledges, the room was silent. Sensing the trepidation of those who couldn’t afford large donations, he said, “Each of you should give whatever you can afford. Even small contributions help us reach our goal. A great Rabbi once told me that each contribution is measured by the intent and sacrifice of the donor. After all is done, the Heavenly scribe lists everyone as a contributor to the million-dollar project.”
Do what you can and you’ll be part of the whole.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Complaining rarely sounds trite to the person indulging in it; in some ways, it has become our favorite sport. We seem to be addicted to assuring almost any listener that things are hard … Our addiction to negativity must be examined. It colors our lives gray. Worst of all it silences the inner voice that recognizes Hashem. (Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, This Way Up, p. 193)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.