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    No’ach with 7 mistakes

    Can you spell “No’ach” with seven mistakes?

    It’s almost impossible. After all it is only a two-letter word, nun-chet.

    But once you start to work on it, you find quite a number of possibilities. Instead of chet you can write chaf. You can put in a vav to get the “o” sound. You can insert a yud after the vav. You can try an alef or an ayin for the “a”. There are a few mistakes already.

    But why try the game at all? Because there is a Yiddish saying, No’ach mit zieben greizen – “No’ach with seven mistakes”.

    These sayings are never nearly as silly as they might seem. In this case we are being told that people can always do an easy thing wrongly.

    Tell someone you’d like them to carry out a simple task and they will probably protest, “That’s too easy! Now, if you would give me something really hard to do…”

    Actually they might do better with the hard task, because they would concentrate more and give it more effort.

    The lesson they need to learn is that an easy task properly performed is also an achievement.

    That is possibly why the sages say in Pir’kei Avot, “Be as careful with a ‘light’ mitzvah as with a ‘heavy’ one”.

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