In a recent article on the Jewish Times website, Frank Storch looks at the issue of Jewish social responsibility. We are taught that we need to be a light unto the nations, but how do we do so?
As Storch explains, “While not all of us can become the giant that my father was, we can still contribute in our own unique and simple ways. We can make sure to always greet cashiers and other service people with a smile, a hello and a thank you. If a cashier hands us too much change, return it and show it’s important to be honest. We can care about others by handing out cold water on hot days or lending a helping hand to someone at the grocery store. We can give someone else a potential parking spot or hold the door open for someone behind us. Why not wish a passer-by a wonderful day or let someone go ahead of us in line? Random acts of kindness, even small and effortless, can have a tremendous impact on our world while shining a positive light on the Jewish people.”
He concluded by pointing out that, “Most importantly, we need to recognize that the concept of tikkun olam, most popularly defined as “repairing the world,” has a deeper meaning. Hashem created a world that was inherently pure and whole, and we must do our utmost in our daily actions such as mitzvos, studying the Torah and continually working on improving our behavior toward others so that we can maximize the opportunities to bring honor to Hashem’s name.”