Life in This World, albeit temporal, grants one incredible opportunity to achieve immense spiritual reward. Chazal teach us that This World is only a vestibule, a passageway to the real world. If we only begin to realize the tremendous opportunity we have for spiritual accomplishment, we would never waste a moments time. Indeed, a simple act of kindness, a moment of spiritual endeavor performed here during one’s lifetime, can never be recaptured after one is gone. All Hashem asks of us is to do, to act, to perform. He will remunerate us beyond our wildest dreams when the appropriate time arrives.
Horav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Shlita, relates a story that occurred which should sensitize us to the power of a mitzvah and its effect. The story is about a mashgiach, kosher supervisor, at a large meat plant in Eretz Yisrael. Everyday he organized a minyan at the factory to daven Minchah. It happened one day that he was missing a “tzenter,” tenth man, to complete the required quorum so he went outside to find someone. After a short while, he met a farmer who appeared to be a simple, unschooled Jew. He asked him to join the minyan. The Jew had no idea what the mashgiach was talking about. After a few moments, however, he succeeded in convincing the farmer of the importance of tefillah b’tzibur, praying with a minyan, and the importance of saying Kaddish in memory of the departed. He emphasized that today he was saying Kaddish in memory of his father, whose yartzheit it was.
The farmer joined the minyan, until a few moments later, another Jew entered, thereby enabling the farmer to leave before the davening ended.
Ten years passed; the mashgiach had assumed a new position and moved to Bnei Brak. One night, the mashgiach dreamed that the farmer who had completed the minyan appeared to him with a shining countenance. He explained that he had passed away the previous month. He said that the reward that he received for joining the minyan that one time was overwhelming. Furthermore, in recompense for the mitzvah that he performed, he was granted the opportunity to appear to the mashgiach and ask for a favor. It seems that he had a totally non- observant son who lived in Yerushalayim. Could the mashgiach please go to his son’s home and implore him to say Kaddish for his late father. The mashgiach took note of the address and went the next day to locate the son. After some persuasion, the son acquiesced to say Kaddish. All of this occurred because a Jew who was himself not observant was willing to be the tenth man in a minyan, so that another Jew could say Kaddish on his father’s yartzheit. Can we even begin to imagine the awesome reward awaiting for he who performs mitzvos all of the time?