The Torah starts with the word bereishit, meaning, “in the beginning”. Rabbi Twerski points out the prefix of the letter beis usually means “in”, but the Midrash points out it could also mean “for” or “for the sake of”.
Looking at it this way, the first verse of the Torah says: “For the sake of the first, the world was created”.
Central to the concept of living a Torah life is this idea of a purposeful creation. The universe, everything in the universe, every person, every occurrence, each has its own purpose.
As Rabbi Twerski says, “being is not haphazard or meaningless”. We need to achieve something with our existence.
Rav Shlomo Wolbe stressed the need for each individual to become conscious of his uniqueness and purpose.
To truly understand we possess unique strengths and flaws, and see that each one of us was born into a different family with different circumstances, is to recognize Hashem has placed each of us in this world for our own purpose.
Rabbi Twerski speaks of tikun hamidos, of improving and adjusting our personality traits – something that takes self-restraint and self-discipline, while Rabbi Herman refers to the “mission versus the moment”. Our mission is our purpose, and the moments are those emotions and impulses that try to stop us achieving our missions.
Having control during the “moments” means a victory for our “missions.”
Wishing us all a very beautiful Shabbat, filled with a sense of purpose and victories for our missions.
- Rebbetzen Joanne Dove is an educator at Seed