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Am I "Matter" or do I "Matter"?

Friday, 22 May, 2020 - 12:53 pm

Canva - you matter.jpgWhat do you need to do or accomplish in life in order to matter?

Or put in other words am I matter or do I matter?

Do I simply exist as an organism on this planet and I am just a piece of matter that can also move around and have fun, or do I actually matter in the cosmic plan of creation?

Often in today's society you are quickly measured and evaluated by what you accomplish, your career, your fame, wealth, knowledge, how you dress and so much more. All too often the first questions people are asked are what is your name and what do you do and that is how they are quickly assigned to a category of society and labels.

Yet does that perspective actually touch on why you actually matter?

Most often, not necessarily.

In Chassidic teachings we are taught that "your birth, is G-d's way of saying that you matter". Likewise every day and moment that we exist on this planet are G-d's way of telling us that we matter to G-d and his plans for this world. In other words before we even start accomplishing anything, our very existence in this world defines the fact that we truly matter and are irreplaceable.

We need to internalize that and understand that only we have the ability to accomplish our unique role and task in this world. Sometimes that might be something that others may know about and have a broader impact than just on ourselves and sometimes that might just be our own unique struggles and challenges and our finding a way to hold our heads above water and keep moving along in life.

With that said, we certainly cannot be complacent and say I matter since I was born and I am good to go and do not need to try in life. Ultimately with that kind of attitude we might not accomplish what we need to in life and it will probably lead us to feel that we don't actually matter.

The Talmud tells of an individual named Joseph who was the son of the great scholar Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi who became very sick and was in a coma. When he awoke from his coma his father asked him "what did you see in your coma when he had a deeper view on life"? He replied, "I saw an upside down world, and those who are important in the world weren't important and those who seemed insignificant in this world, were actually deemed really important". His father replied to him, "what you saw is actually the way it really is".

It is a short Talmudic story with a powerful lesson. People matter because they exist as individuals and therefore they have their own unique journey and accomplishments, whether people know about it or don't. Sometimes those who might seem like the least significant in social judgmental views, might actually be the true heroes who are battling so much to stay afloat and keep going each and every moment of their lives.

This theme is one of the primary themes of the book of numbers which we read this week, which describes the counting of the Jewish people in the desert. It's message is clear and simple, you matter because you exist and have your own destiny and journey nothing in the world can take that unique quality and mission away from you.

Dedicated to all of the unsung heroes in our lives who no one may ever know about and who live lives that are fraught with battle with their inner and personal challenges each and every day. They may not always see success and they may be more familiar with failures, yet they matter to the world in which we live whether we realize it or not, way more that we can ever begin to imagine. Perhaps on a spiritual level they more than anyone else are the ones who are changing the world for the better each and every day.

Good Shabbos & Shabbat Shalom


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