Minute #492: Vital

“You’re getting to be a big guy,” Chananyah’s dad said. “I think I’m going to take you to work today.”

Chananyah was always proud of the fact that his father was an electrical engineer and was technically expert in the workings of giant computers. He never, however, saw his dad working on one of the rescue projects with which he always seemed to be involved. Whenever someone’s systems were down, his dad’s reputation made him the “go-to guy” whose services were requested.

“I’m so excited, Dad!” the child replied. “Let’s go!”

When Dad removed the protective covers from the cabinets that held the inner workings of the super computer, Chananyah was astounded by the number of circuit boards, cables and wires that were needed for one computer to function. How was Dad going to find the problem and fix it?

“Don’t be so awestruck, my son,” Dad said. “Every component in here is vital to the proper functioning of the computer, but some are more important than others. A person can live without a finger but can’t survive without a heart. Let’s start with the most vital parts, and I’m sure we’ll complete the repair much more quickly than you anticipate.”

Hashem’s world is an intricate combination of components — heavenly bodies, plants and animals. Inert elements and esoteric forces such as winds also contribute important elements. But our Torah teaches that it was all made for the use of man. We hold the responsibility for the proper functioning of the cosmos. Mesilat Yesharim states: “The World was created for the use of man. He stands in a crucial position. If he should be drawn away from his Creator, he is spoiled and spoils the world as well … If he rises, he raises Creation as well because he is the pinnacle of Creation” (Ch. 1).

Know who you are and strive to live up to your vital position.