A young man was admitted to a hospital and was unfortunately placed on suicide watch.
After finding out he was Jewish, the chaplain called a local rabbi to visit with him, but the young man strongly pushed the rabbi away.
“I am not interested in speaking with you.”
He said, “I know exactly what you are going to say. You will tell me exactly what the chaplain, who is a priest, just told me when he visited.”
“And what is that?” asked the rabbi.
“He said that G-d loves me. But to tell you the truth, I don’t really believe that. Why should I believe that? I don’t believe anyone loves me and for sure not a G-d...”
What do you answer to such a painful question? The rabbi however brilliantly replied: “To tell you the truth, perhaps you may be right. Maybe G-d doesn’t really love you”.
Now, he really got the kids’ attention.
“But one thing I can tell you for certain – G-d needs you.”
Maimonidies writes in the Laws of Teshuvah, discussing how to conduct oneself during the High Holy Days,
“One should see themselves ... and the entire world ... as if on edge ...Every single mitzvah can be the meritorious one and bring about a redemption to the entire world.”
This is such an important instruction.
Your participation matters. Every good deed you do is precious and actually makes a difference. G-d needs you to make His world a better, kinder, holier place.
One of my favorite prayers – actually it is the very first words printed in the siddur – and I say it the moment I open my eyes each morning:
I thank you, living and enduring king, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is your faith in me.
G-d needs us to do His work. He has hand-picked us personally, given us a life with a specific purpose and He believes in us.
He needs us to make the world a more G-dly place through our mitzvot, our Torah study and our kind deeds to our fellow.
He needs us to bring about a time of peace and unity when – as described in the central prayer during the Rosh Hashanah Amidah, “every creation will know that You created it, and every formed being will understand that You formed it ...”
May it be speedily in our days.
Rabbi Mendy Alevsky directs with wife, Sara, the Chabad House at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, serving the Jewish campus community and University Circle.