How To Save Lives

When the Freidiker Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneerson, was a boy, he asked his father why we have two eyes. His father responded by asking the young boy what is the difference between the Hebrew letters “Shin” and “Sin,” which the Freidiker Rebbe was then being taught in school. The Freidiker Rebbe answered that the stronger ”Shin” has a dot on the right side, and the weaker “Sin” has a dot on the left. So too, his father said, we have a stronger eye for looking at a fellow Jew, and a weaker eye for looking at candies and toys and things that are unimportant. The Freidiker Rebbe writes in his diary about the tremendous impact this conversation had on his life.

But it wasn’t the content of the lesson that made the impact, if you try telling the same lesson to your child, it probably won’t do much. What happened was that the young boy realized that the lesson was prepared.

His father saw that he was letting things that were unimportant have too much influence on him, and wasn’t paying enough attention to things that were important, and so he had prepared a way to teach his son to behave better, using the subject he knew his son was learning in school at the time. This meant that his father was thinking about him, a young boy, when he wasn’t even there!

Imagine your father comes over to you and says, “last week I overheard you asking something, and I’ve been thinking about it and now I think I have an answer….” No matter what he says next, you know that he’s thinking about you. You know that you are not alone.

When we show someone that they are not alone, that we are thinking about them, that they are on our minds, that no matter where they are, they have us, it liberates them from the horrors of loneliness. And that saves lives.

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