Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Toward the greater goal of sanctity.”

Happily, the overarching desires of most people are noble, or, if not noble, at least harmless.

And they develop their life’s path in that direction.

Such is the case for those who aspire to help people in distress.

Others aspire to beauty in all its forms, whether in the visual arts, music, or literature.

For these people, the desire for beauty is not merely a sensitivity or an inclination, but the driving force in their lives.

For others, the desire may be to acquire knowledge, and they, too, plan and construct their lives in accordance with this desire.

There are also people whose heart’s desire is to worship God, and their lives are directed along paths for realizing this aspiration, perhaps by observing commandments, praying, or studying Torah.

Even such abstract desires are particularized into many plans of action, all of which are directed toward the greater goal of sanctity.

We can say that the entire Jewish people was given the task of performing certain acts, and, also, the overriding admonishment “ And you shall be holy” (Leviticus 11:44), so that education, study, and life plans are all meant to be directed toward this end.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz