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Just One Child begins with a compelling question: Rosh Hashanah is the day we talk about the creation of the vast cosmos. Yet the Torah reading for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and its Haftorah deal with the birth of one little boy. Isn’t it strange that, on precisely the day our main concern is the entire world, we focus so sharply on two single individuals? Why the narrow focus? How do we keep our eyes on the universe while watching the birth of a couple of kids?
Yet there is profound wisdom in this counter-intuitive choice.
By focusing on the solitary individual, Rosh Hashanah reminds us of the unique power that each of us has. You and I, and every little child, have extraordinary abilities. We each have the power to transform our lives and thereby make a decisive difference in the world around us.
This point is vividly brought to life with anecdotes, entertaining tales and parables, such as:
A new app on the iPhone that’s a beautiful metaphor for the indispensability of each individual
The lion’s tenacious retort to the elephant
How a “chance” encounter with a hypnotist launched a brilliant career
The two wildly successful Olympic athletes who couldn’t be more different
The pious miser who missed his calling
Discovering your inner “crackpot”
The cynical comment made to the Wright brothers
On Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of creation, the Torah and Haftarah don’t focus on the creation of the vast cosmos. They draw our attention instead to the life of a single, solitary child. The message? Don’t imagine changing the world through great revolutions fought by millions of people; rather, remember the difference one individual can make. Each one of us is that one special child, and like Isaac and Samuel, each one of us possess the power to change the world.
With Just One Child, share the critical message of Yiddishkeit and Chassidus, that we must each view ourselves as indispensable to Hashem’s plan.