Let My People Know

"A person has to know what his function is"

Every individual has a definite function within the people, just as every limb or organ has its function in the body, and one of the chief problems a person has to solve for himself is to know what his function is.

There is the story of the Tzadik who said to a rich, if somewhat stingy, disciple of his entourage:

“You’re in great danger.”

“Why? asked the disciple.

“Because,” said the Tzadik, “every army is composed of many units regiments, platoons, and so forth and if a person takes upon himself to move from one unit to another, he is liable to be punished as a deserter.

And you, who were supposed to belong to the brigade of philanthropists and givers of charity, have deserted to the brigade of Torah scholars.”

In many respects a person may be convinced of doing the right thing, but it may not be the right thing for him.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From The Long Shorter Way, p. 9, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz