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What in the world is that, you ask?

It’s a new formula for training horses for Cossacks.

Choose one of the letters and one of the digits that appear in the title. The combination will be your own personal Cossack horse-training formula.

Huh?

Let me explain what I am talking about.

The Cossacks were ferocious Ukrainian warriors. They imposed fear in their enemies’ hearts. Wherever they traveled, they left total destruction and terror in their wake.

Much of their strength depended on their horses. The strength and courage of the Cossack was practically useless if he could not count on the strength, dependability and loyalty of his horse.

How did the Cossacks go about choosing their legendary horses?

There is a select minority who, in addition to worrying about their own survival, look around and try to do whatever they can to help those weaker than themselves.Legend has it that they would chase a herd of wild horses towards a deep, fast-flowing river, and force them to swim across it. Many of the horses drowned, with only a small percentage successfully making it across. Surviving that ordeal, however, was not enough to pass the test. Of those that made it across, there were the select few noble souls that, while fighting to make it across, tried to help the weaker horses that were struggling near them. These were the horses that were chosen to be the trusted companions of the fearless Cossack warriors. These were the horses that they could trust with their lives in times of danger.

Getting back to our reality:

Life is a constant challenge. It is not easy to make it to shore. The realities of life are unforgiving. There is no truce; you either swim or sink.

There are those who give up at some point during the struggle. There are others who struggle and make it across with more or less effort. There is, however, a select minority who, in addition to worrying about their own survival, look around and try to do whatever they can to help those weaker than themselves make it through the challenges of life.

Making it across is a sign of strength; helping the weaker ones cross is a sign of a noble character.

What does all this have to do with the title of this article?

Very simple.

The letters represent the days of the week from Sunday to Friday (a = Sunday, b = Monday, etc.).

The numbers 1, 2 and 3 represent the number of people with whom you generally have no contact, and whom you must call on the day of the week that you selected.

In other words, if you chose D3, for example, it means that you must call three people on Wednesdays.

What should you call them for?

Simply to see how they are doing.

It will probably not take you more than a few minutes per call; but it will, without doubt, make a world of a difference to the person on the other end of the line. It will make him or her feel (more) valued and loved, and it will give the individual renewed motivation to continue “swimming across the deep and fast-flowing currents.”

Our sages point out that in contradistinction to the animals that were created in herds, man, Adam, was created single.

Why was this done so?

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a) gives several answers, one of which is the following: “Whoever saves one soul is considered as if he’d saved the entire world.”

It is enough for only one human being, serving G‑d with his free will, to exist, for the entire world to acquire the meaning for which it was created.

Every human being fulfills a unique function that completes and complements the common enterprise of all of humanity and creation.

So when you make those calls, be aware that with every call you make, you are affecting not just one solitary human being (which is also not to be dismissed); you are affecting the entire world.

Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov is the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Montevideo, Uruguay, and a contributor to Chabad.org.
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Yakov Chicago July 9, 2012

Every Nation Killed Thousands of Jews... I would like to know if you could honestly tell me what you think having cossack blood makes me? A Mamzer? Under what, the ruling of a prejudice individual? You claim that no positive lesson can be learned from cossacks, but does not Chassidus tell us that wisdom can be learned from absolutely anything? Ukrainian Cossacks are HUMANS just like you and me Jack, with good, bad...and prejudice. We Jews have our way of destroying peoples lives too, but due to the fact that it is not our nature to be violent, we do it other ways by charem, mockery, and other social atrocities. In fact, count to me the number of the multitudes of Jews who have turned away from their religion because of the actions of their fellow Yiddin. Whereas they way of the goyim is violence, the way destruction for Jews is by means of "social violence" if you will...in the form of a pen. The only ossur I know Jack is the Ossur HASHEM decried at Sinai. Everything else is commentary. Its time to LOVE and not hate. Reply

Jack July 8, 2012

Cossaks killed Thousands and Thousands of Jews... Reference to Cossaks in any way related to Judaism is ossur, forbidden. No positive lesson can be learned from the actions of a Ukrainian Cossack just as we would not seek to distill Jewish wisdom from a German Nazi. Rabbi, with all due respect, learn History, it's not ancient stuff... the Galician villages of Eastern Poland were decimated and tens of thousands murdered at the hands of Ukrainian bandits in the tradition of Chimilniki - all who admired or they themselves considered themselves Cossaks. Reply

Anonymous Prescott, AR/US July 1, 2012

Practical A very practical thing that a person can do to make the world a better place. Reply

harriet helliger langhorne, pa June 27, 2012

This was beautiful ! Reply

ruth housman marshfield, ma June 17, 2012

this couldn't be more beautiful! I loved this! Thank you! Reply

Tim Upham Tum Tum, WA June 12, 2012

Mongol Invasion Greatly Influenced Jewish History The Cossacks developed as a results of the Mongol invasion of the Russian steppes. The Cossacks were the vigilante calvary who fought them. We see the Cossacks included Jews, and Jews were welcomed into the lands devastated by the Mongols, because they were the money lenders who provided the capital for rebuilding. I cannot say the Mongol invasion of Central Europe was good, because Mongol children used Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Hungarian children for target practice, when they practiced with their bows and arrows. But the Mongol invasion redefines Jewish history, and the expansion of Jews into Central Europe. Reply

Anonymous Chicago December 19, 2011

Great Ha! Love it. Shemtov, it’s good to know that someone knows alot more of the cossacks than just being merely eastern - european bigots who killed a Jew on site. Khorosha robota! Shkoyach! love it. I myself am Ukrainian (I am Jewish, don’t worry :P ) but I am familiar with kozaky as my father's great great great grandfather was a Dnieper Cossack. And as unlikely as it is portrayed, there were many Jewish cossacks before the times of Khmel. Reply

josh NJ January 22, 2009

nice! great idea! Reply