In this week’s parsha we talk about the joy of helping our fellow man.

An old man calls 911: “There’s a burglar in my garage!”

“Just stay indoors, sir – the police will be there shortly,” the emergency call center representative replies.

Moments later, the man calls again: “I just shot him,” he says.

Within seconds, the police show up, only to find the burglar present – alive and well.

“Wasn’t there a call regarding a shooting?!” exclaims the officer.

“No sir, there was a call regarding a burglary – thanks for coming…” replies the old man.

Unfortunately, we’ve become somewhat immune to emergency; we often gauge the urgency of, rather than respond immediately to, a call for help.

We ought not to wait for circumstances to turn dire before we step in and take action.

Just as health and security need to be fostered on a daily basis to avert crises, the Jewish culture too needs regular nurturing. When Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson (6th Rebbe in the Chabad dynasty) arrived in America, he encouraged the bolstering of American Jewry with his metaphoric expression, “There is a fire out there – jump up and help out!”

One does not need to be a rabbi to inspire a fellow Jew, just as one need not need to be a paramedic to help someone cross the street. Whatever we possess, we can share.

Invite a neighbor for Shabbat, join up with a colleague for a Torah class – whatever action you choose to take, we can all do something to uplift one another and better the universe.

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