"He blessed each with the blessing suited him."
Ramchal explains that serving Hashem includes many varied
aspects, missions and tasks. The all-inclusive one is:
"Whatever is called in My name, I created it for My glory,
formed it and also made it."
In the overall plan of creation, each component is assigned a
special task. Every creature has its custom-designed function
which only he/she/it can fulfill in this world. And for this
end and purpose, he is provided with specific tools,
opportunities, structure, setup of conditions, talents,
character strengths, tests and challenges -- all together
designed to help him fulfill his destiny in life and in
The blessings of Yaakov Ovinu to his twelve children, the
tribes of Israel, were the prototype of all the various roles
within the nation-body. He blessed each one individually.
Each son merited a custom-designed blessing to fulfill his
mission, one that specially suited him and reflected what was
expected of him in the future, with a blessing to succeed.
"When the levels and strata are all in order . . . then
every one is aware of where he fits in. This is what is
written: `Each with his particular blessing did he bless
them.' No one is supposed to overstep his bounds, for each
one acknowledges his place and does what is expected of him"
(Adir Bamorom, Vol. I).
This is a qualitative world outlook. Everything in this world
is necessary, but no one is expected to do everything. Each
must recognize his particular task. There must be Torah
scholars, the tribe of Levi. There must be those who excel in
prayer, and because this is their strength and greater
preoccupation, the Torah they acquire is preserved through
prayer. The nation needs the communally active and the do-
gooders, the baalei chessed who devote themselves to
helping others. We need the artisans and skilled craftsmen as
well as the moneymakers, the Yissochors and the Zevuluns. But
this is at a national, comprehensive level.
On the individual basis, each person must seek his special
area of expression and function, what he does best, where he
fits in best. For "if I am not for myself, who will do my
job?" No one else is suited to do what I do best, just as I
cannot fulfill the task of someone gifted in different
How can a person know his strengths exactly? The Gaon answers
this question in his commentary on Mishlei. When the
Jewish people were blessed with prophecy, the prophets had
the capacity of reading into people's souls and destinies,
and they knew exactly what was the source of each person's
soul, what his mission was in life in serving Hashem. This is
why the prophets were also called advisors, and why we pray
for their return, "And I will reestablish your judges as of
yore, and your counselors as in the beginning."
Once prophecy ceased, says the Gaon, we are able to identify
our role in life according to our particular character
strengths. Every person has tendencies and feels attracted
towards certain areas. This, of course, does not mean that if
a person is not drawn to any particular thing, he is
absolved. We are all obligated to keep the entire Torah as
servants of Hashem, whether we like it or not. But where
shall we focus our attention? Where will we find expression
for our special talents and strengths? This is a question
each person must answer by himself.
And conversely, it is also written that along the path one
chooses as his tailored destiny, one cannot help but
encounter many pitfalls and difficulties. This, after all, is
part of the mission, not to coast along, but to contend with
obstacles and overcome them by the finish line.
In some cases, the direction and goal is very clear-cut. In
youth, when one is in the burst of growth, it is obvious that
one must accumulate as much Torah as possible. The fervor,
energy and strength of this prime time must be utilized for
establishing the foundation that will support a person
throughout the remainder of his life.
Whoever chooses to divert his attention by engaging in all
kinds of mitzvos `lesheim shomayim' is deceiving
himself and forfeiting the gift of youth. He doesn't know
what he is doing! That is not his business at this point. "If
Torah students toiled purely and wholly in their study,"
writes the Chazon Ish, "they would be rescuing many others
from sin, indirectly, by means of generating and radiating
greater purity in this world." The Chazon Ish likens the
Jewish nation to a body composed of various organs and limbs,
each with its own function. Woe unto that body where the
heart assumes the function of the hands or the brain takes
over the work of the feet.
Chazal tell that a Levi whose assigned task was to sing in
the Beis Hamikdosh once took the initiative to help shut the
gates. The Levite responsible for this rebuked him and said,
"Go back to where you belong. You are a musician and I am a
gatekeeper. A musician who guards the gates deserves
No one is free to ignore his particular role and go volunteer
to do a task reserved for someone else. A musician who wishes
to monitor the gates deserves death.
Each one according to his blessing, according to his role and