A Single Act of Kindness

Yael Eckstein  |  April 11, 2022

Yael with elderly woman Olga with dirt smudges on her face

She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. — Exodus 2:6

This week, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating the most important event in Jewish history — the Exodus and redemption of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. These devotions were prepared for you in advance to help you discover the many lessons in faith Passover has for you.

Every year, the humanitarian work of The Fellowship touches hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives. Sometimes, when I think about the scope and size of what we accomplish, it boggles my mind. It’s not just that the numbers of people we are helping are so large. I just have a hard time picturing that many people. For me, it’s more meaningful to think about specific individuals.

One example is Olga, who lives in Ukraine and is an elderly Holocaust survivor. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Olga was one of the unfortunate souls who was unable to flee. She can’t make aliyah (immigrate to Israel). She lives in poverty. When I visited her prior to the war, during the Ukrainian winter, she had no water because all the water that was drawn for her had frozen in the buckets. She also had no wood for her stove.

With God’s help, The Fellowship provided Olga with food, wood, water, and blankets; with whatever she would need to make it through the cold winter months. And despite the outbreak of war, we continue to work with our partners on the ground in Ukraine providing lifesaving aid to people just like Olga.

Of course, Olga is just one of millions to be helped by our work. One single elderly woman may not seem so significant, but as the rabbis taught in the Mishna, written almost 2,000 years ago, “Anyone who saves a single person, is considered as though they have saved the entire world.”

A Single Act of Kindness

In the Exodus story, which we read every year on Passover, the Bible teaches us the power of a single act of kindness performed for someone in need.

Because the Hebrews living in the land of Egypt had grown in number and power, the new Pharaoh had decreed that all the Jewish baby boys must be put to death. When Moses was born, his mother hid him for three months, but then could hide the growing baby no longer. She famously put him in a basket and floated him on the Nile River.

When Pharaoh’s daughter saw the baby, she felt compassion and love. The Scriptures record what happened next, “She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said” (Exodus 2:6).

She took him in to raise him as her own. That single act of kindness led directly to the Exodus from Egypt. All from having compassion on a crying baby! When she chose to save that one little baby, little did she know that she was changing history forever.

A single act of kindness and compassion really can save the world.

Your turn:

Don’t think your small contribution can make a difference? Join us in making a difference in the lives of millions of impoverished Jews in Israel and throughout the world. Your single act of kindness can change the world.

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