The awesome responsiblity of being a Jew
As we stood in shul listening to the Torah reading for Shavuos, to hear the aseres hadibros, I pictured in my mind the tremendous drama that unfolded at Har Sinai and how Hashem Himself spoke and we all heard him. I found myself thinking “But why did Hashem create this world? What does He gain from it?”
I know Chassidus explains that Hashem created the world because He desires a dwelling place in the lowest realms. Somehow, for some unfathomable reason, that gives Hashem
But why then did He create so much evil in the world? I know , so we should have free choice.
And then it kind of struck me: free choice. That is the key to everything. We, His chosen nation, have free choice. We can choose to help Hashem actualize His desire and plan for the world by becoming His partner…by following the Torah, doing the mitzvahs and
increasing in doing goodness and kindness in order to bring about the redemption of the world and the geula.
He wants us to be His partner. He wants us to choose to help Him and to choose to take up His cause, so to speak. He wants us to choose so He can reward us. He does not want us to just do things as robots without any choice. He wants us to choose good, to choose to follow in His ways and to reveal the underlying G-dliness in the world.
He even implanted within each and every Jew an actual part of Himself, a Divine soul. Such a tremendous responsibility we have since we carry within ourselves a part of G-d. If, G-d forbid, we do not choose properly in life, we shlep Hashem Himself into our mess.
Certainly we do not want to shlep Hashem into impurity. He descended , so to speak, into the impurity of Egypt to rescue us from that. But for us to shlep Him into purity because of wrong actions or sins is a very sad situation.
So we have to think constantly that we have a soul, a part of Hashem, and we have to respect that and take care of our souls. Our neshomahs want only holiness, purity and goodness. And that is what Hashem wants too. He may have created “evil” in order to provide us free choice, but He certainly wants us to choose good. And then we actually become Hashem’s partners in fulfilling the purpose for creation and in bringing about the redemption from this last and most painful galus.
And the key to everything is to accept the Torah with happiness, to spread its teachings (especially the inner mystical dimension, pnimiyus of Torah, Chassidus). And when we do our part with joy and good hearts, surely Hashem will fulfill His promise to redeem us.
So maybe I don’t understand why Hashem really created this world the way it is or what He gains out of it (and I dont have to understand), nevertheless, since we are created beings and Hashem wants us to do His will, it certainly behooves us to say “naaseh vnishma”. We don’t have to understand: we just have to do, with kabbolos ol, with humility, and I suppose that is what Hashem loves. He loves to see simple Jews, who certainly do not understand things on a lofty level, doing mitzvoth with happiness and rejoicing in being Jewish. This is what gives Hashem pleasure. And I guess that is what makes this world worthwhile to Him.
And we owe it to Him to think about what we can do to give Hashem nachas. After all, He does so much for us every single second, including bringing us into existence. We certainly should think how to make Him happy! We, as parents, get so much nachas from our children when they fulfill our will and respect us and try to please us. As Hashem’s children it is very much the same idea.
The Torah we receive each year on Shavuos has to permeate us deeply, within, and bring about a change of consciousness. We need to connect to Torah, to Hashem, to holiness….by doing so we have the strength to light up the world and to bring redemption. If we don’t do it, who will? Each of us has to feel responsible for our portion of the world . We are G-d’s emissaries to fulfill what He wants done. What an awesome privilege! What an awesome responsibility!