20 Tishrei 5782 / Sunday, September 26, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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The Work of 1,000 Men    

The Work of 1,000 Men

Ari is doing the work of a 1,000 people. It’s what he gives to the world every day. Read his inspiring story!


Mazal Tov! 


My son Ari just had his Bar Mitzvah. We were so proud of him. What makes it so special is that he is on the Autistic Spectrum. Many things that we “mainstreamers” take for granted is a big accomplishment for Ari – a real feat indeed. 


That very day he took on the mitzvah of tefillin and reciting the Shema.  


He keeps this mitzvah every day. He recites the blessings and I put on his tefillin. He reads all three paragraphs, then starts to clap wildly once the mitzvah is complete.  


It feels like the most productive part of my day.  


My day job is in hi-tech. One part of the day I am programming, the next I am dissecting application layers, then I am writing about it all to software developers worldwide.  


My Evil Inclination is good at convincing me how important my job is. 


But that’s not my job. My job is to accumulate mitzvot. Hashem can give me a livelihood milking goats, if that’s what He chose. He can give my family everything we need by collecting interest.  


The real work is in our service to G-d through the mitzvot which He commands us to perform 


When Ari says the Shema, he is doing his job. Even if he isn’t likely to be a lawyer, an architect, or a hi-tech content writer, it’s not important. What determines his worth, his importance, are the mitzvot he performs.  


There are seven billion people in this world. For every one thousand people alive, G-d chooses a single man to put on tefillin and say the Shema.  


Ari is one of them.  


Ari is doing the work of a thousand people. It’s what he gives to the world every day.  


Other than his stunning good looks, is there any difference between Ari and myself?  


The Measure of Men 

Ari taught me never to be fooled into thinking that professional achievements are important.  We all work. We all earn.  


The special contribution every Jew makes is when Hashem tasks us with  maintaining  His  world through His mitzvot.  


This is what Ari does. It is all he needs to do.  


If one young man with autism lives a positive and productive life by performing a single mitzvah every day, how much more productive are our lives if we do hundreds of mitzvot every day?  
How much we add to the world when we: 

  • - Learn Torah for an hour, accumulating 9,000 words of Torah, or 9,000 mitzvot 

  • - Give a warm smile to a friend. Give a warm smile to someone we don’t know very well but looks like they could use one 

  • - Resist the urge to look at anything we know is forbidden to us 


The Rambam tells us that the entire world is balanced perfectly even between good deeds and bad deeds. Every single mitzvah tips the world in favor of good.  


The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that a single mitzvah will tip the weights of merit enough to  bring Mashiach 


A single mitzvah to save the world. A single mitzvah to redeem the world.  


It might just be your next mitzvah. Or it could be Ari’s.  


That’s the impact. 


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