Minute 672:And Their Wants
The two friends slid into the car they shared for “station trips.” Mr. Bloch started the engine and pulled out of the lot.
“We work so hard and we accumulate so much, but it seems like there’s no end to what we need,” Mr. Burg said.
“I agree,” replied Mr. Bloch. “We barely were able to get the new car we so sorely needed and now my wife is talking about some things we must do to update our home.”
“I know,” Mr. Burg acknowledged. “And the kids ‘need’ things we never heard of when we were growing up.”
“I guess we’ll just have to get back on the train tomorrow and develop new ways of acquiring all the things we want,” Mr. Bloch said, as his friend exited the car.
“Good night,” Mr. Burg said. “See you in the A.M.”
The never-ending pursuit of happiness follows a road paved with “needs.” Our Creator in His wisdom could have created the world in a way that every creature, especially the human being, could have all they need without any effort. His plan, however, was to provide raw materials and allow man to complete the task of finishing a developed society. He imbued man with “wants” in order to motivate creativity and hard work rather than boredom and despair. Most of man’s creativity and energy is spent “filling” the needs Hashem left for us.
Our ‘needs’ are a blessing. Our Sages composed an after-blessing on foods and drink that thanks Hashem: “Who creates many living things and their wants… with which to sustain the life of every living thing.”
Necessity is the mother of invention and the grandmother of happiness.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Koheles compared the Torah to…an ox-goad… A goad keeps the ox from wandering to the side as it plows. By insuring that the furrows are made straight, the goad stimulates a process which brings forth abundant grain to sustain the world. The Torah is comparable to an ox-goad in that it, too, brings spiritual sustenance to the world if people permit themselves to be guided by it. (Harav Aharon Feldman, The Juggler and the King, p. 89)