"Rabbi Simcha Bunam, one of the great Hasidic masters taught that each of us should have a scrap of paper in each one of our pockets. Upon one scrap of paper should be written the words taken from the Talmud: Bishvili nivra ha’olam – The world was created for my sake (Sanhedrin 37a) and on the other scrap of paper should be the words from Genesis (18:27), V’anochi afar va’ayfehr, – I am but dust and ashes."
"... Rabbi Bunam teaches us balance – balance between extreme humility which could literally leave us in the dust, and extreme ego-centrism which could lead us to believe we are the center of the universe. We live with this paradox: even though we will perish, the world was created for us. The idea that the world was created for us must underscore the questions that we pose to ourselves about our lives. For if we believe that the world was created for us, then we are charged with making a difference in this world."
Words: From Kol Nidre 5767, by Rabbi Susan Leider
Image: Blue Music by Virginia Wieringa