Tazria: How History Greets a Newborn Child

Tazria deals with the birth of new life and therefore it's worthy to understand what kind of world is the child entering: how grand, personal and wondrous is it? By analyzing a well-known question, perhaps we can reach an answer. 

The question is asked, "How can the Mishnaic statement (Sanhedrin 4:5) 'For me was the world created' co-exist with the Abrahamic aspiration of 'For I am dust' (Genesis 18:27)?"

To suggest an intonation of self-conceit would contradict a direct verse (Proverbs 16:5), "Everyone who is arrogant in the heart is an abomination to the Lord." Splendor is reserved for G-d, as the verse (Psalms 93:1) says, "The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty."

The famous answer given is by Reb Simcha Bunim of Peshischa who says that you must carry each statement in a separate pocket and utilize the correct one depending on the situation (considering the ever-changing ebbs and flows of life, where one can sometimes feel overinflated, which would require self-reflection as to consider he is mere dust, and at other times he may be overly self-critical, which would call for the need to see his greatness, as he is in the image of G-d).

Perhaps another answer can be offered based upon a recent Passover thought by a genius of a man, Rabbi Ribner, who teaches in Lakewood. This answer delivers an extraordinary thought to make sense of our existence and explains why every child should realize their own greatness in this world.

When we say in every generation G-d took us out, it means G-d performed the Exodus for my generation, "For me." He anticipated my existence and desired it in a personal way. That is why one must see himself as he left Egypt, as his life was anticipated and desired.

The new explanation of the two seemingly contradictory statements can now be that because history and the world order was created for me, I automatically feel like dust - humbled and grateful to a Creator that created such a personal world to for me to play a role. 

Based on a drash, we can further bolster the individuality of the world order. The word bishvili has in it the word shvil, meaning a path. This would mean that the world was created with individual paths for each man to walk and my path was desired by the Creator.

The Steipler Gaon was known to say that the individual talent that we are given to traverse in this world is like a gold coat on loan from the Heavens. We must strive to produce individual greatness, but for all of mankind to benefit from and not for self-aggrandizement. The coat needs to be returned to G-d in the same condition that it was given, a feat only possible if a person reaches his individual mission, whose purpose must be to help his brethren. 

The Rambam (Laws of Repentance 5:1) echoes this idea by saying we are all born with our proclivities, but whether we choose to fear G-d is our choice. But our proclivities and talents must help mankind.

Tazria deals with the birth of new life, and life is a wondrous individual reality that every child will eventually embrace. My late relative, Rav Avrohom Genechovsky zt"l, once gave me an eitza on how to bring new life into this world, namely, to have children. He said to have kavana when you say brachos. I didn't ask the reasoning, but if a gadol says something then it has force. Children are new creations brought into this world and the Exodus occurred for each one.