The Shiny Project

The Shiny Project

Saturday night, December 13th, the 17th of Kislev, my daughter, Adelle Shayna went home to HaShem.  Adelle Shayna’s entire existence is a remarkable one.  While she was in my belly she was with me as I had the great honor of giving blessings to women as they used the Mikvah.  We were both so blessed to be able to participate in this gift HaShem gave to the Jewish people.  Mikvah is such a special experience that in the moment of her Tevila, a Jewish woman can ask HaShem for anything at all; daven for anything, tell Him anything.  Before she was even a real person on her own, Adelle Shayna was present for the opening of G-d’s ears over and over again.  All this occurred while she was still receiving her own private lessons in Torah from an Angel.

 At her birth, as with every birth, the Shechina, the Physical Presence of G-d was there, though I am fairly sure this was not their first meeting.  We rejoiced in the birth of our first daughter as she cried.  It is said that when a baby is born, the family laughs, but she cries because she is leaving Paradise to come into our world.  When she passed away, we wept and she laughed because she was returning to Paradise.  Once again in the Physical Presence of G-d she left peacefully and suddenly, not giving us a chance to ask for a different verdict and not giving us a chance to be angry when G-d did not change His mind.

 There were 154 days between the time G-d escorted her to Earth and when He escorted her home.  An infants’ soul is pure, without sin.  They know and do only G-d’s Will.  For 154 days our lives were blessed with the presence of a Tzadaikess (righteous one).  Every mother thinks that her children are the most special.  Mine really is. 

 Adelle Shayna reveled in attention from anyone and everyone.  She rewarded friendly strangers with an infectious, unreserved smile.  Even on the self-involved streets of Manhattan, people would stop me to look at her.  So often they commented on the depth of her stare.  They said that something in her eyes displayed an age beyond the days she’d been with us.  I just thought it was something nice that strangers said.

 This special little neshoma (soul) reached out to others.  She asked for nothing from them and gave them everything she possibly could – a pure, sincere smile that conveyed the heavenly joy of her existence.  She was a simple vehicle; unable to articulate her thoughts into words and still she was able to brighten the lives of so many.

 Can you even imagine the power that you have?  If my fat, little baby could send strangers away smiling and chatting happily, what can you as thinking, speaking adult accomplish?  That’s the idea behind The Shiny Project.  I want you to learn from the example of an infant and spread joy unconditionally.  Use your every faculty to strengthen the spirit of your fellow Jew and inspire him to do the very same. 

 We learn in Parshas Noach,  that  when HaShem provided for the people, things were easy and pleasant.  The people decided that they didn’t need HaShem, because everything was just hunky-dory.  Today, things happen that break our hearts and we say, “Where is G-d?!”
 The Aibishter can’t get a break. 

 It is so easy to become disenchanted with this world, even to hate it.  Things simply do not make sense.  Gossip magazines are a multi-billion dollar business while children die of starvation.  G-d’s chosen land is beset and besieged on all sides.  The problems of this world are often overwhelming.
 But they are within our power to solve.  In the face of such complicated sadness, the solution is so simple.  Do just one more mitzvah.  That’s all. 

 One more mitzvah from each of you not only adds bricks to the Beis HaMikdash but will inspire all who know what you’ve done, to do one more mitzvah themselves.  Imagine what they can inspire.  All you have to do is one little thing and Moshiach is right around the corner.  One little thing and the abject ridiculousness of this world is dissolved into perfect peace.  One little thing and no more dirty politics because we’re all under one Divine ruler. 
 The Shiny Project - Do one simple thing to inspire countless other simple things and bring the greatest thing.  Your act of kindness can bolster the faith of someone else and prompt him to do the same.  You can show others that they are not alone.  Prove to those around you that compassion is a living being – consuming, breathing – and reproducing.  Do one thing every day to breed unity.  Imagine reaching out to one person and he, in turns reaches out to others and so on.  It’s a pyramid scheme of the heart!  No investment!  No minimum order! 

 Recognize the impact you have on the world around you.  Consider your words before you speak them.  Never let an opportunity pass to do kindness. 

 We say “Ba Shana Ha Ba’ah B’Yerushalayim,” Next Year in Jerusalem.  I’m not going to settle for that.  I know what you can do and a year is too long.  Put your energies to positive work and I will see you and all that have gone before us tonight in Yerushalayim.

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