Divine Public Relations.
Emor (Leviticus 21-24 )
"You shall not defile My holy Name, and I shall be sanctified among the Children of Israel; I am God Who sanctifies you." (Lev. 22:32)
Regardless of our profession, station, education or tax bracket, we all share the common privilege, opportunity and (awesome) responsibility of serving as ambassadors of God, His Torah and the Jewish Nation at-large.
Whether we are awaiting our luggage at baggage claim, angling for a parking space at Walmart or conversing with the bank teller, each day presents dozens and dozens of opportunities to make a sincere "Kiddush Hashem" (lit. sanctification of God's name) in the eyes of total strangers and countless on-lookers. (This is particularly so in today's day-and-age where the entire notion of "religion" has been tainted with pre-conceived notions of fundamentalism, narrow-thinking and a "my-way-or-the-highway" mentality).
Shakespeare reminded us that "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players" (from "As You Like It"). This sentiment rings especially true today when you ne'er can tell who will take note of your actions. When you ne'er can tell what opportunities abound to conduct oneself as true, living embodiment of the very noble ideas that Jews have stood for since Avraham Avinu walked the planet.
Take for example, Oscar "Isaac" Thiel who let an unidentified black man fall asleep on his shoulder while riding the Q train back to his home in Kensington. When a fellow rider snapped the photo on his cell phone and posted in on social media, it received no less than 1.3 million "likes" and 172,563 shares on Facebook.
Take for example, Rabbi Noah Muroff who found no less than $98,000 cash stashed away in an ordinary office desk he bought on Craigslist for $150. The couple took their four children with them to return the money the next day, hoping their good deed would send a "message of honesty and integrity." When the Muroffs informed Patty (the previous owner) of the hidden treasure, she wrote a thank you note (later publicized on CNN) stating: "I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me."
True, most of our deeds will not go viral. Few of our acts will ever be worthy of CNN-coverage (maybe that's a good thing), but for those of us who carry the mantle of the Torah and its timeless virtuousness, our ordinary encounters become the canvas for the extraordinary. May we rise to meet the expectations of greatness that the Torah instills in (and expects from) all of us.