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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted:
Monday, December 11, 2006 - כ' כסלו, תשס"ז

 
 
 
   
 

The Power of One
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

I often think about the story of the miracle of Chanukah. One flask of oil was the catalyst for the miracle that took place. It has crossed my mind many times that perhaps this story is metaphorical to each individual who, if given the chance, can make a difference.

Be it one friend, one teacher, one student, one doctor or even one stranger; each of us has the power of one that many of us don’t appreciate, realize or actualize. Yes, each one of us, as individuals, has the power to create miracles for the people we come into contact with.

I
have recently read a story about one woman, a mother, with a son in the US army who is stationed in Iraq. It is a simple but incredible story that underscores, at this time of the year, the power of one person.

Marcelle Shriver learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq that cans of neon colored Silly String can help save the lives of American soldiers stationed in Iraq. American troops use the cans to detect trip wires around bombs. Before entering buildings that may be booby trapped with deadly bombs the troops squirt the plastic string across the room. The string can shoot strands 10-12 feet long. If the string falls to the ground, the troops know it is safe and there are no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, on the almost invisible trip wires, the troops know that they have a problem.

And Marcelle Shriver grabbed the ball and started her own one person miracle with a very simple and inexpensive idea. She is now organizing a drive to send Silly String to Iraq to help the soldiers there. In fact, she has 1,000 cans of Silly String in her one-car garage ready to be shipped to the American troops in the Middle East.

And even though the story of Michelle Shriver and her cans of Silly String seems so trivial in the greater scheme of a this long war in Iraq, I think her story highlights some very valuable food for thought – and emphasizes the power of one.

Marcelle Shriver saw a chance to make a real difference in some people’s lives. Her actions might help save her son’s life and the lives of his friends. Somehow I don’t think she did this for the attention it might draw from the media or because she is wildly wealthy and could just say, “Why not!”

Marcelle Shriver was given a golden opportunity to make a real difference – a life saving difference - and she grabbed it. Though many people do such things for others on a daily basis, perhaps after we read this story we should pause for a moment and think, “Do I seize the moment? Do I step up to the plate when there is a need to? If people need human contact do they think of calling me? Am I there? Do I accomplish for others as well as myself?”

And if you can answer yes to any of these questions, you have learned the lesson of Chanukah, you have lived through the miracle making power of each individual person, and you were exposed to the incredible power of one.

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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