Parshat Shemot: An Idea Whose Time Has Come!
“If I had one hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and 5 minutes solving it”.
In the age of acceleration, we are ever more challenged to clearly identify our personal problems.
Not just to treat the symptoms, but to understand and cure the underlying conditions.
Our current disruptive climate presents an opportune moment to do so.
To ask the questions we were always afraid to ask ourselves. Questions which might profoundly alter the way we currently live our lives.
What is the meaning and purpose of my life?
What is the source behind the forces which cause so much tension in our world?
Can we ever solve or better manage our inner conflicts?
Is anyone going to hold me accountable for the way I’ve chosen to live my life?
Am I truly in control of the life I choose to live or is it just an illusion?
Can I make any material difference in a world inhabited by billions of people?
It is these existential questions, and all their variations, which the book of Tanya seeks to solve.
It does so by illuminating the setting against which all these dynamics are played out. Both, on a micro and macro level.
It sets out to clarify the basic and timeless terminologyneeded in all human discourse.
It provides a simple and concise understanding of our identity.
Human beings are a hybrid.
On a biological level we operate in a similar way to animals. It’s all about self-preservation and indulgence.
As the same time, we possess a divine spark, which enables us to transcend self, and genuinely identify and empathize with others.
It offers a revolutionary understanding of the definition of good and evil.
Consequently, enabling a transformation, and ultimately a fusion of the two.
At the core, it demonstrates how limited we are when acting selfishly. And how consequential we can become by behaving selflessly.
It’s not a romantic book. One also needs patience.
But perhaps it’s a book, with ideas whose time has come!