A Chewbacca mask and the purpose of being

You don’t have to admit it publicly, but by now it’s likely that you’re one of the 150 MILLION (!!??) people who watched a particularly pointless video sometime this past week. The video shows a woman, called Candace Payne, amusing herself by putting on a Chewbacca mask and then laughing hysterically for over a minute.

Her video was filmed live on Facebook and has since taken her to the set of major TV shows and landed her a VIP tour of the Facebook campus. Her video is now the most viewed Facebook-Live video ever and over the course of the week she has gained over 750,000 followers on Facebook.

I often quote the teaching of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidism, about the importance of gaining guidance in serving
G-d from everything that one sees or hears.

And this phenomenon is no different. But this time, I need your help — please comment and share what you think can be learned from this story!

I’ve been thinking about this over the week and tried to gain an insight as to what this could mean in serving Hashem, how could this video — and what has happened to this woman as a result of it — be instructive in my service of G-d?

One thought I had is this: When one studies Chassidic philosophy, one comes to realize how miniscule one is — yet at the same time, how lofty we can reach. While acknowledging G-d’s presence leads us to a deep realization of our seeming insignificance, Chassidic philosophy helps us understand our concomitant potential.

When our life is about us, when we make choices based on what we need, the result is limited – we are after all, limited beings. However, when we live our life based on what we are needed for — the purpose for which we were created — then nothing can hold us back.

Sometimes our thoughts about how little we are can lead us to thinking that our choices are insignificant, who cares whether I do the mitzvah or not — I’m insignificant. What we forget is that we are an integral part of the universe, put here for a purpose — some great, cosmic purpose. Our choices matter. Our mitzvahs matter. The entire universe — and
G-d Himself — are depending on our choice.

This woman had no idea where her video would go and what would happen as a result. She filmed it for her friends and family, thinking they would find it amusing. Meanwhile it has touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Your “small” mitzvah —
Is not small at all.

About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum is the co-founder and Executive Director (and chief cook and bottle washer) of the Chabad Jewish Community Center located in Folsom, California and serving the entire region. He relishes the opportunity to discuss religion and politics with anyone who is interested and he is passionate about sharing age old Jewish wisdom with anyone who will listen. One day he will write a book entitled "Never Fall in Love."