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Shabbat to Shabbat: Make a Big Impact with a Small Act

03/02/2017 04:31:54 PM


Rabbi Samantha Shabman

This week, I have been thinking about what I can I do to make things better for people across our country and our world who are suffering, who are hungry, who are scared. This week in particular, I was feeling an overwhelming sense of wanting to fix it all. However, I was also feeling discouraged, knowing that this is an impossible task. I was then reminded of a story, a story that you might even know.

A child was walking along the ocean, and he saw a beach on which thousands of starfish had washed ashore. Further along he saw an old man, picking up starfish and one by one throwing them back into the ocean. "Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”, the child asked.  The man replied, “because if I don't throw them back in the water, they will die.”

"But old man”, said the child. "Don't you realize that there are so, so many starfish out there? How can you possibly save them all? Even if you were out here all day, it would not make a difference." The old man listened, and bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. And as he threw the starfish into the water, he said: "it made a difference to that one."

When the world’s problems seem scary and impossible to understand and to mend, I try to remember the story of the starfish. At times, when it may feel as if our efforts are small, and we are not helping as many people as we want, remember this simple teaching. Your small act, could have a huge impact on one person’s entire world.

In attempt to help our world, this Sunday, March 5th, a group from Temple Sinai, will be walking together in the Hunger Walk. This is our way of being a force of good in our world. It is not too late for you to join us. Registration is open until Friday March 3rd at noon and they are taking walk-ups the day of the event. Click here to find information on how to register. As an added bonus, our own Beth Schafer will be playing music along the walk as part of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival’s All Star Band.

We hope you will join us for a beautiful day of being outside, being together, and doing something small that could have a tremendous impact on one person’s life.

Shabbat Shalom,


Tue, August 4 2020 14 Av 5780