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"Ani Ma'min" - Faith in Redemption

From Maimonides' 13 Principles: The mission of perfecting the world is entirely in our hands.

by Staff

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Vocals and piano by Sam Glaser

Story: The Butterfly

There was once a very wise rabbi who could answer all questions. One of his students, a precocious young boy, wanted to prove to the class that the esteemed rabbi was not so smart after all. He thought of a foolproof plan.

He would catch a butterfly and hold it in his hands behind his back. If the rabbi would guess what it was, then the boy would ask, "Is it alive or dead?" If the rabbi would say, "It's alive," the boy would close his fist and crush it; if the rabbi would say, "It's dead," he would open his hands and set it free. Either way the rabbi would surely be wrong!

Excited with this plan the young boy approached his teacher, holding his hands behind his back. "Rabbi, being that you are so wise you surely know what I have behind my back!"

"Indeed I do," said the rabbi. "You have a butterfly."

"Yes," said the boy. "But can you tell me if it is alive or dead?" he asked, smiling devilishly. "Ha Ha!" thought the boy, "I finally got him!"

The wise rabbi thought for a while and then answered, "It's all in your hands."

The mission of the Jewish people is Tikkun Olam -- working at bringing the world to perfection, a world worthy of the coming of the Messiah. Far from being a statement of passivity, it's up to us to make it happen. When and how is entirely in our hands.


June 16, 2004

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Visitor Comments: 10

(10) Anonymous, October 28, 2013 9:06 PM

Random acts of kindness

I am greedy for one thing: Performing random acts of kindness (RAK), otherwise known as mitzvahs. Whether or not I perform RAKs as answers to others prayers, I know now, I just know that when I see a person in need and I am in a position to fill that need, I don't think twice, it is an opportunity to do something good for that person.
Although I do not seek any reward for what I do it is my hope that in some little way the person I help will pass it along to another and another and by so doing make the world a little more perfect.
Okay, so I am naive. So be it. But if "I" don't do what I can do, who will?
I'll let one RAK, speak for them all. Texas' summers get, not HOT, but REALLY HOT especially if you are out in the sun without a hat or any shade. It can cause a heat stroke in a matter of minutes! I know, my vehicle failed and I tried to walk home in the middle of the day. I woke up in a hospital because I had flat passed out on a sidewalk. If it wasn't for the local police, I wouldn't be alive to write this. So when I saw a woman standing out side of her car with no shade whatsoever, I drive around a large block, asked her if she had water or shade. Having neither, I gave her a bottle of water and my umbrella. She didn't want to take my umbrella but I told her that I didn't want her to have a heat stroke, she finally took it.
Before I could drive off she asked me why I did what I did. My answer? Because she needed help and I could help. I gave her a smile, a wave and drove off.
If everyone would do that, maybe we'd deserve to have messiah come, but till then...

(9) Jacinta Marie, December 16, 2010 4:26 PM

Being Faithful in Difficult Times Perfects Faith

Being faithful in difficult times perfects faith. Our Heavely Father already knows everything that everyone of us will do, for he knows all. It is his mercy that he waits. He is waiting for all his children to become what they will, even though he would that all would be pleasing to him, that is return his love by showing that love to all our brothers and sisters. It is as much for our good as it is for others that we do good. We perfect the world not by changing the world but allowing Our Heavenly Father to perfect us, that is choosing to believe as we should in his perfect wisdom, strength and goodness rather than our own imperfect wisdom, strength and goodness. This belief is first formed in our souls (mind, heart, and will). But it is with great and sometimes seemingly impossible effort that we are able to remain faithful in our actions. We all fall short to some extent, but because he is merciful, we are able to continue to believe in his wisdom, goodness and strength, because he provides us with all we need to continue to keep believing that he will provide all we need to fulfill his will for us which is our best good, despite our and others imperfections which prevent us from being perfect as yet. But he will bring us to that perfection, when it is the best time, and he will have provided all his children with everything they need to come to that perfection, even his most difficult children. We all have choices to make and sometimes they are difficult. We all make mistakes. But Our Heavenly Father did not make an imperfect world in that it is beyond redemption but rather a world that is coming into perfection. We participate in that perfection first and foremost in allowing our heavenly father to perfect us. That is accepting that all works towards the good no matter how difficult that may be. For the more difficult it is to believe and be faithful, the more perfect the faith that is required and the more perfect the faith becomes.

(8) Baruch Weiss, October 19, 2010 2:48 PM


If there's one thing that will forever stay in my head it's my X boss at work who told me ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE NEED MOSHACH NOW!!

(7) , November 2, 2009 5:11 PM

If the world is perfect eventually why do we need mashiach?

(6) Chanie Luz, April 17, 2009 9:06 AM

Credit the composer: Motty Parnes

Aish is an amazing site ! Very uplifting and inspiring . Please add the due credit to my cousin, Motty Parne, who composed this now-classic tune to "Ani Maamin". The source is in the Negina - Pirchai Agudat Yisrael record from 1969.

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