The poet William Blake wrote, “He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars.”
In January, a group of adults and teens from Rodeph Torah spent a day in inner-city Trenton, painting and repairing a church. While we were there, a young woman came in with her infant son. He was in poor health; his only clothes were wet, and he was seriously underweight for his age. His mother explained that she had so little money she would dilute the child’s formula six times, so she could give him something when he cried.
When we left that day, we pledged to do something. We couldn’t fix the entire problem of hunger in Trenton, let alone in the United States or the world. But we could help with this one, minute particular.
We set up a “subscription” through Amazon, to have two cases of formula delivered every month. That was supplemented by donations from temple members – more formula and clothing, because the child had no clothes except the wet ones that were on him that January day.
In August, the church pastor sent us an update. She said the young man is healthy, happy and growing like crazy. And she sent us a picture, to go along with the picture we took of Rabbi Stern holding him seven months ago.
This is what we do. We “do good,” one Minute Particular at a time. It may not change the whole world, but it certainly changed this one, a little part of it.