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Can One Mitzvah Bring Moshiach?

How can it be that one mitzvah alone can bring Moshiach?

Maimonides, in his writings on the World to Come, describes the state of the world as being in perfect balance. “Each person must view himself and the entire world as being half meritorious and half guilty. If he does a single mitzvah, he can tip the scale and bring redemption and salvation to the entire world.”

To make the concept more tangible, the Lubavitcher Rebbe uses the analogy of setting off an atomic bomb. Only a small amount of matter is needed to set off the chain reaction that will lead to the explosion. The explosion can be set off at any moment, by any individual, even a small child. All he has to do is press the right button, and the world is changed irrevocably.

Says the Rebbe: “This individual does not need to be a great scientist who understands how the atom works or how this button is causing a reaction on the other side of the world. The thought process here is irrelevant; all that matters is the action—to press the correct button!

“If the above applies in a negative, destructive situation, how much more so does it apply to positive actions. Through one good deed to carry out the will of our Creator (fulfilling the seven Noahide laws for non-Jews, or the 613 mitzvot for Jews) we can cause a positive change in the entire world.

“Even if we don’t understand how our small action could have such a wide-ranging effect, this is not a matter that depends on intellect, but on action. When G-d causes you to encounter the correct button, through his messengers and through his Torah, then your one action can bring salvation and redemption to the entire world!”

Mishneh Torah of the Rambam, Hilchot Teshuva, 3:4. Torat Menachem 5746, vol. 2, p. 457.



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