Communal Responsibility

Our Synagogues and communities abound with opportunities for the individual to step up and offer his or her services for the needs of the many.

But many communal tasks are often menial and bothersome bearing little prestige or recognition. How many of us aspire to collect siddurim in our Synagogues?

Rabbi Yossi, who was charged with the task of appointing managers of charity was often unable to find anyone to take the responsibility upon himself.

Rabbi Yossi would point out that Ben Bivi who was responsible for merely servicing the wicks of the Candelabra in the Temple is listed in the Mishnah (Shekalim 5:1) together with the Gedolei Hador.

If the seemingly meager task of servicing the wicks was significant enough for someone of such caliber, then certainly managing charity which is responsible for the well-being of the poor should be significant enough for everyone else! (Y Shekalim 5:1)

The lesson that the Talmud Yerushalmi teaches us here is that when it comes to the service or well-being of the community no task is too meager nor insignificant. The lowliest of tasks (or at least how we perceive them) are actually quite lofty!

May we take greater interest in our community and the needs of the many setting aside our own pride and bring us merit and greatness!

Michael Linetsky is the director of the Talmud Yerushalmi Institute If you would like to receive these postings your mailbox when they become available, please email {encode="" title=""}