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Sole Role of a Soul

Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

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The book Extraordinary Insights

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Sole Role of a Soul

Just as everyone has a unique DNA, face and fingerprints so too we each have a unique mission. R’ Wolbe[1] writes: Each person is a one-time phenomenon, an occurrence that has never been before and will never be again. We each have a unique blend of character traits and personality. We are each unique in our particular family constellation, born in a specific time in history and in a specific environment. This uniqueness gives each of us great importance. Only we can accomplish our unique life tasks.


When a piece is missing from a puzzle, the picture is incomplete. We can’t cut and shape a puzzle piece to fit it into an empty space in the puzzle. Likewise, each of us is different in our traits, abilities and potential for our unique mission.[2]


The Sifsei Chaim[3] writes that Hashem endowed each of us with the attributes, talents and skills that speak directly to our individual mission. This is what Hillel meant in the words אם אין אני לי מי לי,[4] if I am not for me, then who is for me: If I don’t fulfill my mission, no one else can be the replacement.


Imagine a Prime Minister that tells a person he has a great mission for him but he can’t know until he arrives at a foreign country. He tells him that the boat he travels on will contain all that is required for his mission. On the boat, the man discovers a saw, tools, nails and the like and therefore concludes that he was meant to become a builder and not an accountant. Likewise, to know what we are meant to accomplish here on earth, we need to take inventory of the supplies with which Hashem sent us. We are given the task of revealing the soul’s purpose and when we get it right we feel fulfillment and contentment. This is the soul’s way of informing us that we are on the right path. We also have the power to develop new skills especially when they are essential to our success. This is a fundamental aspect of self-growth. The more we learn to do, the more we are able to accomplish. Our mission statement expands with our new skills and talents. Successful people often attest that they never could have envisioned the full extent of their potential when their journey initially began. They grew further by developing their latent talents.

[1] Alai Shur, 1, p. 168.

[2] We therefore also can’t be jealous of what others possess as that is needed for their mission in life.

[3] Middos V’avodas Hashem, volume 2, Menuchas Hanefesh, Vaad Alef.

[4] Avos 1:14. In Mussaf of Rosh Hashana we say that Hashem is aware of all our doings: מי לא נפקד כהיום הזה כי זכר כל היצור לפניך בא מעשה איש ופקדתו ועלילות מצעדי גבר, for who is not judged today? For the memory of all creation is brought before You; the deeds of man and his charge and the causes of a person’s steps. Another explanation of these words is that man is held accountable for his deeds in general as well as how effectively he has carried out his “charge”— the unique mission of his life.

Author of the books Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights

Listen to the short Fascinating Insights Podcast at

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