Basic Judaism

How Far Does the Reward for a Life-Saver Go?

Come listen to how much it pays to bring a positive influence into the world!

A man was drowning in a river and his friend who is standing on the riverbank throws him a lifesaver ring and the drowning man grabs it and was saved. If you look at the reward for the deed alone and monetize it, it may amount to a few Shekels. Does he need to get such a great reward for just throwing a ring into the water?

But if you consider the life that he saved and the lives of his descendants until the end of all generations that all wouldn’t have been here if he didn’t throw that ring you come to the conclusion that the reward for this finite deed had infinite influence and gets endless reward.

This is the explanation of the words “he repays to the man of kindness according to his achievments” (from Yigdal prayer). G-d pays man not only for his isolated act, but He takes into account all the good that comes out of that deed. A Jew that merited doing good things which extended out to his friends and neighbors who improved their deeds because of him and started a ripple effect where others learned from those friends and neighbors can with one positive action he did get credited with endless strengthening and enthusiasm that he caused.

Someone who looks at his deeds the path his life takes in this manner will undoubtedly try to improve his ways and treat even the smallest mitzvah like a giant project. For  as we said that it’s possible a small mitzvah I do will influence three or four people and they will influence three or four others until this goodness mushrooms into a mass of people who did a mitzvah because of me! And of course I will be credited with it all in heaven…


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