Dear Readers,

I had a little bit of a wake-up call the other day.

It was evening and I was with my husband, headed on an errand to a store. My husband drove as I sat in the passenger side, chatting. It was a pleasant summer night, and so we rode with our windows open until we arrived at our destination. But in those 10 minutes, something happened.

The roads were not well-lit, and inside the car it was quite dark. I felt a little quiver of movement on my hand. Soon after, it was on my arm. But by the time I looked down, nothing was there—or at least I couldn’t see anything. A few minutes later, my hand was becoming itchy. Soon after, my right leg also began to itch.

By the time I got out of the car, I realized that there was an unwanted guest in our car. A very hungry mosquito had a very good meal, biting me in several places. My hand and leg were covered with bites and with every passing moment, the itchiness was becoming harder and harder to bear as ugly red splotches began covering parts of my body.

I know, getting a few mosquito bites is not monumental. Medically, it’s usually a non-event with no long-term repercussions. Within a week or two, the bites would be healed and there would be hardly a trace that they were ever there to bother me.

And yet, mosquito bites can be very irritating. For the next several hours, despite the ointments and sprays that I put on for relief, the itchiness was relentless. My skin became red, inflamed and hot, and I was in discomfort. I woke up several times that night just to scratch the itch, which made it even more itchy!

So what was my wake-up call?

Had I been hiking in the woods, rather than driving on the city streets for a short distance, perhaps I would have been better prepared and protected from the mosquito. Yet in just 10 minutes, in the comfort of my car and not its native environment, the mosquito was able to attack me and cause great discomfort.

And so, if something that small can quickly and without warning cause something negative, then just imagine the converse. We are far bigger and have far more capabilities than mosquitoes, so imagine what we can create and accomplish, even in a short period of time, for the good.

Moreover, while the effect of the bites was negligible, every act of goodness is something real and true, and therefore in some measure, everlasting.

Rosh Hashanah, the New Year with all its new potential is almost upon us. Ten minutes was all it took to create discomfort. Ten minutes is all it can take to create something positively magical for the coming year.

Wishing you a happy and sweet new year.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW