Minute #645: Just for Me

“You’re in a good mood this morning!” Mr. Epstein observed with a smile.

“Right, my friend!” Mr. Fischer responded. “I got up and looked at this beautiful world and thanked Hashem for creating everything for me.”

“Don’t get carried away,” Mr. Epstein warned. “That sounds a little conceited. I’m your friend and I can tolerate such a notion, but don’t go spreading it around.”

“We were learning a Gemara, Sanhedrin 37a, where it said a person is obligated to say ‘For me the Universe was created.’ I’m just fulfilling my duty.”

“I’ve never heard that. It sounds contrary to the humility we’re taught to develop in ourselves. However, if the Gemara says it, I may not understand but it must be true.”

The intent of the Sages was to teach a perspective on life that would make a person able to overcome envy and achieve satisfaction. The Talmud is teaching that Hashem planned His world with each inhabitant in mind. His meticulous plan was to surround each individual with all that s/he needs to fulfill his or her unique mission. What Hashem gives each individual is all that is best for that person right now. Family, finances, health and possessions all match up perfectly to the task that s/he is expected to perform.

You may not understand why, but you must believe it’s perfect. You may try to improve your lot, but what you have at any given moment is all that’s needed. If you don’t own crutches, you don’t need them. If you don’t own a luxurious home, you don’t need it. Everything at your disposal was created and given to YOU.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

Having had the means at his disposal to acquire any luxury, Yaakov Avinu asked for and was utterly content with the barest essentials. This is indeed an ideal to be emulated! If we fail in this respect, and experience suffering when not being able to enjoy all our accustomed comforts, we haven’t fulfilled our purpose in life — just as the individual who experiences a sense of deprivation in the sukkah has not fulfilled his obligation. (Rabbi M. Miller, Yom Tov Shiurim, p. 96)