Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
What's the main headline this morning? That depends on us. In reading about the death of Miriam the prophetess this past Shabbat, Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl reminds us of a central chapter in Miriam's life: the week she spent in isolation healing from tzara'at (a leprosy-like skin condition) while the nation waited for her to recover. Rabbi Nebenzahl writes as follows:
"Many years before, when Moshe Rabbeinu was floating in a basket in the Nile River, Miriam very briefly waited and watched over him. As a reward for this act, she merited that the nation would wait for her for an entire week. Because every minute of lovingkindess, and every second of a good deed, counts. A small act of lovingkindness by a little girl is valued beyond logic. We must understand its tremendous power and the lesson it teaches about how much we can do. Each act of lovingkindess on our part can change the world. Up there on high, they report on it with much excitement.
We do not see this, but every expression of kindness, every smile and show of interest in the new neighbor in our building – everything counts, everything is important. If we can acquire for ourselves the clear, absolute, and unequivocal understanding that each good deed of ours becomes a main headline in heaven, we will find assistance in living life as it is meant to be."