“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.” -Richard Buckminster Fuller
When one finally gets the enormity of what the Torah encompasses, it can be fairly overwhelming: The Bible, Mishna, Talmud, all of their ancient and modern commentaries, Jewish Law, Philosophy, Ethics, History and more. The list is enormous, with more material being added every day. It is no wonder it is called a “sea of Torah” – one can drown by being immersed in so much information.
Nonetheless, we are enjoined to study it. To start slowly, even superficially, but to start. To start and to continue. The Ohr Hachayim adds another dimension to this command, one that is reflected in the Silent Prayer of the Sabbath where we beseech of God “to give us our part in your Torah”.
The Ohr Hachayim on Deuteronomy 22:3 assigns three components to man: the body, the soul and man’s unique portion of the Torah. He explains that every single Jew has their own individual part of the Torah that they need to find and connect with. There is some otherworldly component; independent even of the soul, which is comparable to man’s missing rib. Man needs to find that Torah portion that only he can uncover, that only he can bring to light, absorb it, refine it and make it his.
May we all find our unique parts of the Torah and share them with the world.
To all the students immersing themselves in Torah with the beginning of the school year. We look forward to each unique contribution.