Shlomo Ezagui

Figuring Our Purpose in Life

Everyone has his place in the grand scheme of the universe. No two people are alike. Our sages tell us, “In the same way, there are no two faces that look alike; there are no two people who think alike.” Everyone is unique, and everyone serves an exclusive purpose.

For someone to be fulfilled, they must sooner or later figure out how and where they fit into the broader picture. No one can or should ever regard himself as a free radical. Somewhere. somehow, we MUST serve a greater purpose.

If a person lives a selfish life revolving only around themselves, they will end up a problem for themselves and anyone around them, just like free radicals in the body.

How can a person figure out the unique niche that connects them with their global purpose for which God gifted them the great gift of life?

When the Land of Israel was divided among the 12 tribes, it was commanded that “To the larger tribes a greater portion should be given, and to the smaller tribes a smaller portion should be given.” Sounds sensible. However, the Bible also tells us, “Only by lots should the land be divided.”

The Talmud describes how the miraculous nature of these lots was received through the high priest’s breastplate, which instructed them which tribe should receive each piece of land. Above rational thinking and a complete surrender to God, higher than nature!

We know the people of Israel were commanded to dole out the land in this supra-rational way because, spiritually, each person in his own life, wherever they may be, is similarly allocated (in a Godly fashion) a portion of the universe to work and cultivate spirituality.

The foundation to life and to serving God is always submission and obedience. God, however, also endowed us with a mind, and we are commanded to use it in our service of God. How do the two go hand in hand?

The Talmud describes certain sages who felt drawn by their character and circumstances to the practice of certain commandments more than others. They felt a powerful personal attachment, a certain enjoyment, in doing certain commands over others.

This special attraction, the Talmud explains, is implanted by God in a way that transcends any explanation. Spiritually, it is through this particular practice that a person feels drawn to that their entire connection with God manifests.

Sometimes, a person may notice more difficulty and hardship when they seek to do something positive or perform this particular observance. This is a sign from heaven. It is only because the prize at the end is precious and so vital to this individual that the price to be paid is so high. Even if the person cannot see or understand the connection outwardly, their hardships are the greatest proof that this is their most important life endeavor.

The following quote is from a letter Rabbi M.M. Schneerson sent in 1964.

“… As requested, I will remember you in prayer for the fulfillment of your heart’s desires for good. The attainment of good is, unfortunately, not always very easy and, usually, the more the thing is desirable, the more difficult it is to obtain. Therefore, when one finds extraordinary difficulties or obstacles, this in itself is often a sign that the thing desired is very worthwhile……”

When a person applies himself to their task with “joy” because they are driven to do so in “Simple Faith,” even though they may not understand that this is undoubtedly from God and “for my good,” eventually, they will come to see and understand how this commitment was exactly what was necessary for their happiness and deep fulfillment in their life.

Chapter 108

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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