“There is a saying: The world is wicked, but in every generation there are thirty-six righteous souls, and for their sake, God lets the world exist. Thirty-six is written lamed (30) vav (6). These righteous are called lamed vav-niks, or 36ers. They are usually humble people, so one must be kind to everyone, because anyone might be a lamed vav-nik, one of the thirty-six.”
-From “Menorahs, Mezuzas, and Other Jewish Symbols” by Miriam Chaikin.
Related to this idea was if there were but 10 people in the town of Sodom who were righteous, the town would have been saved. Sadly, there weren’t ten good people. The town was burned to the ground with sulfur.
What about also trying to be a lamed vav-nik, or one of the 10? You never know when your town is being tested. Be good, so that the world is saved. This gives a whole new twist to “Be good for goodness sake.”
You may think that your efforts aren’t valuable. How do you know? Your effort might be all that saves the world. There might be 35 other people who are counting on you to make the cut.
Remember this proverb?
“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail”
Your efforts matter.