Yoseph Janowski
By the Grace of G-d

Have you ever wondered

Have you ever wondered about the world we live in?

Have you ever wondered about life? What’s it for? How we are alive.

Have you ever thought about purpose, meaning, morals? About just plain getting it right?

People come and go. Events happen. And we just walk on by, in our own capsules of life.

Have you ever thought about any of this, or any other matters of tremendous importance?

Have you ever wondered?

And if you have, what conclusions did you come to? How sure are you that your conclusions are correct? How sure are you, that you are conducting your life properly, correctly?

Have you ever wondered?

When I was about fourteen years old, I had a private audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I asked for a blessing for my parents. I wrote their Jewish names on the note that I handed to him,

“What is your father’s mother’s name,” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“What is your father’s father’s name?”

“I don’t know.”

What is your mother’s parents’ names?”

“I don’t know.”

“How is it that you don’t know such a commonplace thing?”

I shrugged. And he gave his blessing.

The audience had a tremendous impact on me. I walked out thinking, that life is not a free joyride, a curious encounter. Life has a purpose, and our job is to ascertain, to know.

To think about our grandparents. To know their names, who they were. To realize that we didn’t just drop down here from nothing. To know that the commonplace contains significance, and that everything within us and around us carries purpose and meaning.

That we come from somewhere, and we are here for something, and that we need to make the effort to know where that somewhere is, and what that something is.

That everyone and everything has a name. And that we have the responsibility and ability to know this.

“There is none like You, among the mighty, O Lord, and there is nothing like Your works.” (Psalms 86; 8)

About the Author
The author lives in Toronto, Canada. He has written for