Prior to last week's tragic terror attack in France, had you heard of the Charlie Hebdo magazine?
Neither had I.
And for good reason: the magazine was a nonentity on the verge of bankruptcy.
Charlie Hebdo printed about 60,000 copies weekly, of which only 30,000 were actually sold. There are about 60 million people who live in France which means that 0.0005 percent of the population was reading it. And of the billions of people living on Earth, 0.0000042857 percent read this publication, which, for statistical purposes, amounts to zero.
Virtually no one read Charlie Hebdo, but a few crazed fanatics who did decided to avenge the “honor of Muhammad” by brutally killing 17 innocent civilians in cold blood, and wounding 21 others.
This small group of ruthless individuals have forever altered the course of history; the Jewish nation, France, and the free world will never forget last week's terror and bloodshed.
Our sages teach that the power of goodness and kindness is infinitely stronger than the power of evil. "A little light (goodness and kindness) dispels much darkness (evil)” is not merely an adage—it is the starting point for illuminating our lives and ultimately transforming the entire world.
And, so, I ask you:
If two fanatics with AK 47s can shut down an entire country and sow fear across the world, can you imagine how much joy and peace you can spread across the world by lighting Shabbat candles this week?
If two lunatics, with a single act of terror can bring 3.7 million people together in an unprecedented display of unity, can you imagine the kind of unity that you can create with a single act of love?
If two murderers can unite 40 world leaders by taking away the lives of others, can you imagine what you could do by giving of yourself to others through the mitzvah of charity?
If these systematic murderers could instantly make the almost defunct Charlie Hebdo magazine a household name, selling 5 million copies this week, can you imagine what you could do by studying the Torah, which has been around for 3327 years, is printed in dozens of languages and will never go bankrupt?
If a few deranged fanatics can unleash widespread terror and bloodshed while offering a prayer to their "god," can you imagine the life, the connection, the meaning you can bring into your life by praying to Hashem?
If all it took was two of the seven billion human beings on Earth to read the Charlie Hebdo publication and irrevocably change the developed world, can you imagine what you can accomplish today by reading this article?