By bas Yehudis
“We had 450 people at our (insert name of lavish event).”
“(Include name of well-known person) officiated!”
“And we’ve just launched our kick off for (insert smart looking acronym).”
Does that sound like you? If the answer is affirmative, chances are you swim the high seas of ‘Klal Work’. In spite of some begrudging non-farginers –or a jaded commenter on a website or Facebook– you deserve a 450 person applaud.
It’s not easy doing your work. You wear many hats, sometimes 7 simultaneously. You interact with hundreds of people – often on a daily basis. Usually, the stakes are high and nerves are stretched. You continually require the stamina and fortitude of Klal Folk. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you (feel like you) don’t. But you bravely forge forward defying odds, breaking records. You are a hero.
There’s a little old lady standing behind you at the bank. Wish her good morning. Not because you aspire to be remembered in her will or because she’s your board member’s spouse but because, by Divine Providence, she has crossed paths with you.
There’s a teenager in your kitchen. Gasp! Yours! Compliment her on her new shoes and share a joke. She’ll appreciate not being invisible. No one likes being invisible. Especially children.
You might argue about your pressing schedule. You have no time to banter and schmooze. If you don’t raise (insert astronomical number here) in 24-hours, your institution will be seized by the bank. True, you are terrifically pressed for time.
At the same time, the ‘small’ gestures you take will make you richer, better, greater. You are depositing funds into a cosmic bank. It’s a bank where checks can only be cashed in Olam Ha’emes – the World of Truth.
“I baked a cake for (insert name of downstairs neighbor).”
“I’m driving (add name of elderly relative) to the drug store.”
“We’re having a welcome Melave Malka for (include name of new family on your block).”
Does that sound like you? If your answer is affirmative, chances are you swim the choppy waters of ‘Prat Work’. And, in spite of the fact that the media outlets didn’t cover your most recent mitzva, and you may perceive yourself as a ‘no name’ doing ‘not much’ you deserve more than a one person applaud.
Your work might initially appear trivial or simple, but it isn’t. These people demand you giving 100% – sometimes on an hourly basis. Often, expectations are unreasonable and nerves are stretched. You continually require the personal touch and unwavering Ahavas Yisrael of ‘Prat Folk’ – the individuals. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you (feel like you) don’t. But you diligently press on defying odds, breaking records. You are a hero.
There’s the chairman of your local Jewish organization who could use an attuned person like you on board. Reach out. Plug-in. Not because you expect to be promoted or because you want to be known as a mover and shaker, but because, by Divine Providence, you share a common city.
There’s a new campaign going on. It requires a diverse team. Mr. or Mrs. Klal Folk require someone exactly like you to help get the job done. If only for a few weeks, don your Klal Cape and step up to the Klal Plate. Chances are you’ll acclimate.
You might argue, upholding your ‘prat’ personality. The fact that you don’t do crowds. Don’t walk that walk, nor talk that talk. The fact that you like to deal with people in a personal manner.
Perhaps true, all that. At the same time, the ‘big’ gestures you take will make you richer, better, greater. You are depositing funds into a cosmic bank. It’s a bank where checks can only be cashed in Olam Ha’emes – the World of Truth.
”Every Jew must know that wherever he may be, he is an agent of the Master of All, [charged with the mission of] actualizing G-d’s will and intent in creating the world – to illuminate the world through the light of the Torah and Divine service. This is achieved through the performance of practical Mitzvos and by inculcating [in oneself] positive character traits.”
(Hayom Yom, 7 Adar l)
…and this timeless teaching applies to all folk.