Monday, April 2, 2012

Parshat Tzav - There are No Small Parts, Only Small Actors

Through "show business", we learn many lessons in life. One of them is, as the title of this post says, "There are no small parts, only small actors." An actor can be assigned a small role, and yet, he can make it something special and memorable through a wholehearted stand out performance.
We learned in this week's Parshat Tzav that the Kohanim in Bet HaMikdash have many different roles. One of them was even taking out the ashes.
That doesn't sound like such a glamorous task. It's not as exciting as sacrificing a bull or a goat. It's not as moving as bringing the ketoret spices.
So, why does the kohen have to do these "menial" tasks? 
This reminds me of a parable I heard long ago. A king told his gardeners that he wanted each to create the most special garden possible, and he would pay them according to the flowers he liked best.
Each created beautiful different types of gardens filled with every type of flower. Those gardens were awash with color, symphonies of flowers. At the end, the king paid more for the roses. "Why didn't you tell us the roses would bring the most money?" the gardeners asked. "I didn't want gardens only filled with roses."
Hashem has given us 613 commandments, and He wants us to immerse ourselves with dedicated to each one of them big and small. Just as the kohen who might shecht (sacrifice) a bull and also clear out the ashes does each with full dedication, so must we do each mitzvah in our lives with dedication and devotion.
We don't know the value of mitzvot. I guess Hashem will tell us that after 120, IY"H. But I know that just as Hashem wants us to learn Torah, keep Shabbat, eat kosher, He also wants us to stand up for the elderly, speak with courtesy, refrain from saying lashon hara, and be kind to others.
None of those are small mitzvot. Only if we look down upon one instead of another, we, G-d forbid, are showing ourselves to be small people

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