A Precious Scribble

July 1, 2011 by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
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This coming Tuesday will mark the 17th Yohrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn. The Rebbe’s leadership, teachings and inspiration touched hundreds of thousands and had an unmistakable impact on world Jewry. There are so many important lessons that can be learned from the Rebbe’s life and leadership. Let me share with you a short story with a powerful lesson.

Rabbi Michol Gourarie photo: Henry Benjamin

For every festival many guests would come to visit the Rebbe. They came for a boost of inspiration, to listen to his teachings and to receive his counsel and blessing.

At the end of the festival period all the guests would gather together in the main synagogue where the Rebbe would give them a special farewell address.  After he finished talking, each guest would quickly file past the Rebbe and hand him a note on which they had written their Hebrew names together with a request for a blessing.

On one such occasion a father was trying to keep his young toddler quiet while the Rebbe was talking. He gave the child a piece of paper and a pen to scribble and draw pictures. The strategy worked for a while, but just before the Rebbe finished talking the child had had enough and threw the paper on the floor.  Before the father could pick it up the speech had finished and everyone was being pushed forward to quickly pass by the Rebbe and receive his blessing.

When this man’s turn came to be blessed, the Rebbe stopped the fast moving line and asked the father to go and pick up the paper with the child’s scribble and bring it to him so that he could place it together with all the notes that everyone had written. While the Rebbe was talking he had noticed the child scribbling, and to him it was as precious and significant as all the important issues written on the papers of the adults.

This little story has an important lesson. Not everything we do is earth-shattering   or world-changing. Sometimes even the good deeds we engage in, lack sophistication and leave a lot to be desired.  Often we wonder if we are making any significant contribution.

But we are all G-d’s sweet little children. As long as we make an attempt not to leave the paper blank, our scribbles are just as precious as the most sophisticated essays. Every small effort that we make is placed on the same pile as the greatest achievements.

Never undermine the power of any good thing you do.



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