Isaac had given Jacob a blessing that Esau, Jacob's brother, felt should have gone to him. Out of fear that his brother would harm him, Jacob left his parent's home. He went by a well and saw a woman, Rachel, who was there to water her father's flock. And it was....

"... when Jacob saw Rachel… Jacob came forward and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep..." (Genesis 29:10)


A LIFE LESSON

Acts of kindness usually take place when someone makes a request from another person. It could be asking for someone's time, money, opinion, etc. The person being asked could either say yes or no, and if he says yes, then an act of kindness has taken place. This is certainly a praiseworthy act for the person who gave selflessly to someone else in need clearly did a mitzvah, a good deed.

But there's a much higher level that can be attained when doing acts of kindness. There's something you can do that can elevate your good deed into a great deed. This happens when someone anticipates the needs of others and without ever being asked, he simply comes forward. This is what Jacob did for Rachel. When you proactively do a good deed without ever being asked, then it transforms your act of kindness into an entirely new and higher dimension.

Most people are generally good, meaning, they'll usually do acts of kindness for others when asked. If someone needs something and we're able to give it to him without causing much discomfort for ourselves, most people will do it. These are good people doing good things. Some more, and some less.

Jacob, however, teaches us how to become a great person who does great things. Ironically, the act we proactively choose to do will usually be the same one we would do if asked. By acting first, however, it puts the same action on a radically higher level.

It's certainly more difficult to anticipate the needs of others and come forward, but now it becomes a supreme act of kindness because it was offered instead of being asked.

It's also important to know that many people also have a hard time just asking others for help. But they're in just as much need, if not more, as those who more easily ask others for assistance - Coming forward with them is of paramount importance.

So the next time you choose to come forward - and you do so without any provocation - and give someone a kind word, a small loan, or a helping hand, it will be an act equal to what Jacob did for Rachel at the well. And you will have done a great deed.