Saturday, September 26, 2009

Can a Pony Tail Save the World?

At services on Friday night there were two women with long hair sitting toward the front of the room. It was hot, and both women wanted to put their hair up, but neither had a pony tail holder. One woman managed to put her hair up with a paper clip. The other braided her hair, but the braid fell out. Then she tried to tie it into a knot, but that came out, too.

Then, a woman sitting behind them dug into her bag and found a pony tail holder. She could have just handed it to the woman in front of her, but instead she gently took hold of the woman's hair and made it into a pony tail for her. She did a remarkably good job, too, considering she's the mother of men, so I imagine she doesn't have much practice putting up other people's hair. Nevertheless, she understood the situation, and made sure to fashion it in such a way that the hair was held well off the other woman's neck, allowing the air to circulate comfortably.

I believe there's a midrash that says every day God sends out an angel to destroy the earth, but then God sees an act of loving kindness from one person toward another, and calls the angel back. Putting aside the issue of a God who can't make up his/her mind, and an incredibly slow angel, there's something I like about the notion that even one small act of loving kindness can save the world.

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