Just One Step

Shmuel Halpern
2 min readApr 1, 2022


Photo by Cole Freeman on Unsplash

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (Lao Tzu).” It’s simple, just begin, and the rest will follow.

If you’ve ever tried something new (and who hasn’t), you know that that first step is often the hardest one. Beginnings can be challenging, whether writing the opening sentence, extending the first apology, or taking a stab at a brand new subject.

The entire journey lies in that first step. Appreciate it. As you energetically extend your best foot forward, think of all the opportunities ahead. They used to say the sky’s limit, but today, even the sky can’t hold you back. Cherish that first step, for it contains the secret of human greatness — the fact that a new beginning is only one step away.

As you launch yourself into space, inspired by all you can accomplish, don’t forget to take some time to be.

You can climb the tallest mountains, but you will never absorb the lessons of your journey if you don’t stop and reflect.

New beginnings are all about what you can build, but who are you? Without the time to just be, you will never know who you are.

You must plug the lessons you’ve learned during times of reflection right back into the world of action. You’ve discovered who you are, now make it real, and become the person you know you can be.

You often discover a deep desire to be ‘more’ when you allow yourself to just be. Nurture that niggling sense of yearning; it is a sign pointing you in the direction you need to go.

This Shabbos provides us with a unique chance to strengthen ourselves in these three areas.

It’s Shabbos, a time to simply be. It’s Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of a new month — a time to begin anew. And finally, it is Parshas Hachodesh when we read about the very first Rosh Chodesh.

The mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh is the very first one we receive as a people. Hashem is telling us, “I want your beginnings. I desire you, and I want the very best version of you. Today, I will provide you with the first of all first steps.”

Hashem’s desire for your success is the electricity that powers you forward.

This Shabbos, we nurture all three elements of the human personality: Action, reflection, and the bridge between the two — a reflection-inspired first step.

Begin with the end in mind, and don’t forget to rest.