Monday, January 6, 2014

Lamed-vav Tzaddikim

In any generation, there are thirty-six of them, who through their goodness and virtuous acts, hold the world together. You probably wouldn't recognize them in their various disguises stopped at the red light or pushing the shopping cart in front of you, but they are there, quietly grasping dropped edges so that our world doesn't start to fray.

 36 righteous ones, Lamed-vav Tzaddikim.

Well, I've sussed one of them out.

She thinks she's nothing spectacular as she volunteers to help at the hint of a need.  She doesn't even know her true identity while she "mims" you with the perfect thoughtful gift "just because I love you." She lives honestly and kindly, tending the souls of those she loves with the ultimate attention to detail.  She has magic hands, deftly carving her designs so that from a blank canvas emerges a masterpiece of beauty.

She hasn't yet parted seas to my knowledge, or drawn water from a rock.  She doesn't have cool super-powers or the need for a phone booth to morph into an alter-ego.

But just spend an afternoon with her and it becomes clear you're in the presence of greatness.

They say that you never know who these 36 saintly creatures are, never know when you might have the good fortune to bump into one of them on the sidewalk, so you should treat everyone you meet as if they had that potential. Out of the 35 that are left a mystery that is.

The last one is safely at home, recharging her batteries, before resuming her job as mom, wife, sister, aunt, friend, artist and healer; sprinkling small kindnesses and transforming her corner of the world as instructed.

If you're lucky, you might stumble across a Tzaddik in your lifetime.  If you're unbelievably blessed, you might be born to one.

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