HortonHearsAWhoWe asked for a show of hands when we sharing this Horton insight this on the 8th night of Passover, and most students either read the book “Horton Hears a Who” or saw the movie. Some especially enthusiastic students either work with preschool children, study children’s literature or themselves had part in Seussical the Musical or the like. A Dr. Seuss classic, “Horton Hears a Who” is rich with meaningful moral messages. Some confused it with “Horton Hatches the Egg” but that’s another story for another time.

The main line of the story “Horton Hears a Who” is “a person is a person, no matter how small” and it is about Horton the elephant’s unique sensitivity and selfless dedication to the minuscule inhabitants of Whoville, whose existence is in grave danger, as it is doubted and ridiculed by the insensitive, doubting and cruel Kangaroos eager to drown the flower upon which Whoville rests in a boiling vat of Beezle-nut oil!

But the aspect of the story that’s most pertinent to Moshiach Seudah is this: Horton had extremely sensitive hearing and could hear the people of Whoville living on the speck. But the others could not, and they ridiculed Horton and tried to get the speck from him so they could destroy it. In a desperate attempt to prove that they indeed existed, Horton pleaded with the Mayor of Whoville to have all his citizens make as much noise as possible! They tried and it wasn’t enough, they made more noise and it wasn’t enough noise to pass the decibel threshold to be heard…So the Mayor ran all about Whoville, exhorting each and every citizen to make the most noise they could… when he came upon one little Who who was making no noise at all… but when the Mayor inspired that last small Who to make the noise that tipped the scale (as the Rambam would say, see below) and brought salvation to all of Whoville!

The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s spoke about the Rambam (Maimonides) all the time, after all he established an annual study cycle of the Rambam’s Mishna Torah. But perhaps his most oft-quoted Rambam was that the Rambam’s teaching that each and every person ought to always view the world in perfect balance, and each good deed (or heaven forbid the opposite) every single action can tip the scales and make all the difference!

This perspective empowers the individual person, puts so much significance into the individual act, the smallest of the small, or Dr Seuss says “a person is a person no matter how small!” Too often we are like that last Who in Whoville who thinks his shout is of no avail, who think that others will do it better than him. Every Who is needed, every Who is indispensable!

This also reflects the Rebbe’s urging encouragement to sing “We Want Moshiach Now!”, shout “Ad Mosai!” etc… we need to make our voices and yearning for Moshiach heard!!

And speaking of “a person is a person no matter how small” this recalls the very special “No such thing as a small Jew” with the Rebbe and the Jew from the island of Curacao. It’s a great story, very memorable, and so telling of the Rebbe’s love for each and every Jew, and his incredible ability to see soul where others didn’t even know it existed.