Bamidbar: The Secret To Collaboration
There is no doubt the coronavirus pandemic will have a profound impact on our lives for years to come. The UN has warned that for the first time in four decades, human development, such as education, health and living standards will go into reverse. As Jews we have been empowered with the privilege and responsibility to be a “light onto the nations”. This historic role is ever more significant during times of profound disruption and confusion. Each and every one of us have a vital role to play in radiating this light of hope and opportunity to the world around us. As a result of lockdown and social distancing we have all been compelled to reduce the fast pace of our lifestyles. This no doubt will enable us to reconnect with our inner selves, reorienting our focus in life. One of our greatest aspirations as humans is to achieve a state of peace and harmony. To align the forces both internally and externally. In fact, the mystics explain that the divine light shines in a uninhibited way only when there is ’peace’. It could be described as the oxygen needed for spiritual energy to exist. One of the greatest obstacles to achieving a harmonious state with others is the difficulty we have in recognising our own limitations. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that a true ‘Chosid’ is one who recognises and appreciates both their strengths and especially their weaknesses. If we were to only recognise our strengths and not our weaknesses, we are diminishing the vital role that others can play. This undermines not only a greater good which can only be achieved through wider collaboration, but it also impedes our ability as individuals to fulfil our own potential. During our forty year journey in the desert towards the promised land, the Jewish people were told to live and travel in a prescribed formation. The twelve tribes formed four groups, each allocated a different position in relation to the tabernacle. In order to move one step closer towards the promised land, each of us must acknowledge and accept both the position and role we were designed to play, as well as the unique and vital part played by others. To attract the greatest blessings in our lives, we must learn both to play to our strengths as well as appreciate our weaknesses. This will enable others to complement us, so that together we can achieve the greater good.