There’s a saying attributed to the holy Reb Zusha: “After 120, when I’m tried in the court of truth, they won’t ask me how come I wasn’t like Avraham, Yitzchak, or Yaakov. They will ask, ‘Zusha, how come you weren’t like Zusha!’”
Typically, the first reaction to the story is, “Whew! I’m off the hook. I’m not expected to be like the greats.” However, the opposite is true. It’s a demand for us to become our own greatest selves, the extraordinary people we can be, if only we exert ourselves enough.
Coming into this world, you were given your family, your talents, and a set of circumstances created to nudge you towards greatness. So why weren’t you the best you possible?
Whether it’s a talent in writing, being cheerful, learning, or physical strength, we are expected to harness all our background for positivity.
Take something like free choice. We all have it. We claim all the time, “I have the right to make my own decisions.” But that’s besides the point. We do have it, and it’s the most G-d-like power possible. Why do we waste it? Instead of using it to make bad decisions, we should be using it to accomplish the most amazing things because we are free to choose.
Surely the One above will fulfill His promise of “Nachamu nachamu ami,” healing our people of all the pain and suffering we’ve been through if we do as He expects us.
Wishing you a wonderful and joyous Shabbos,