I daven with a minyan. I don’t. I do a chessed. I don’t. Does it really matter? Does it really make a difference? Very often we find ourselves thinking, “What is the big deal? Will my actions really change my life? Will they change my world?”
Yet every once in a while, we come across a single action that does make a difference – a shot heard around the world. Our natural assumption is that these types of acts are relegated to singular people, living in highly unusual times and circumstances. But Chazal have a different appreciation of the value of a single act. From their vantage point, a single mitzvah accomplished by an ordinary person is so important that it exceeds anything we could ever imagine.
The question is: why? What is the big deal? After all said and done, it was only one mitzvah. It’s not like the entire universe, heaven, and earth are dependent upon that one act.
Using HASHEM’s answer to why Nebuchadnezzar merited becoming one of the most powerful kings in history, this Shmuz helps us enter Chazal’s worldview of the impact of even one mitzvah.