Quotes from Sh'ma a Journal of Jewish Ideas

Great Potential and Also Dust

“For my sake, the world was created.” At birth, we are endowed with enormous potential. Our actions can change the world, ideally making it a better place. However, “I am [also] but dust and ashes.” Our time on this planet is limited. One day, all who live will return to the earth from whence we came, so we must act while we can. I cannot believe that God created human beings as little more than eventual fertilizer. In order to honor the work of Creation, we are urged to repair it. This reminds me of a midrash in which God warns us not to destroy the beauty that God created, “because if you spoil it, there is nobody after you to fix it.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13)