Betzalel and the Uniqueness of Our Missions

Within each of us is a natural, deep desire for success and achievement. Academic, professional,  financial, and more. Much more. We’re driven, driven to be the best self we can, but why?

The Driven Soul

Within each of us is a soul, a neshama, and it’s our souls longing to express itself that, deep down, is driving each of us.

Each of us is the bearer of an absolutely unique soul, with a unique light, that has a unique mission to bring a particular illumination into this world. The neshama longs to realize it’s purpose and mission and it’s drive if fueled, so to speak, by the Godly essence from which it is hewn. The soul is chelek Elokah mi’maal, a “piece” of God. It’s this inner Godly essence that pushes, urges and drives us to move ever forward in life; to actualize our potential, fulfill our mission, and unleash the beautiful ohr-light that only we can bring into the world.

The Mission Driven Soul

Our inner drive, because of it’s Godly source, is powerful and unrelenting. Not only won’t it ever quit, it is also well aware of what it’s purpose is, and as long as that purpose remains unfulfilled, the soul will never rest. And, because it is aware of it’s mission, when we move in the right direction, when we touch the parameters of our purpose, the soul senses it’s proximity. This can be compared to a game of “hot and cold.” The more a person learns to sense and listen to the depths of his heart, to the spark of his soul, the more aware he is when the soul resonates with the joy it feels when moving towards its purpose. In each of us there is a deep, gentle voice that guides us towards our mission; the expression of our light.

The truth is, because this inner urging is strong and unwavering, it can also cause us problems. Jealousy, competition, and a certain bitterness when we see others being successful—even hatred and the maligning of others—can all be the negative result of our drivenness. And so the question is, how can we make sure to always direct this deep impulse in a positive direction?

Betzalel and Our Names   

We can find the answer to this question in the verse, “See, I have called by name; Betzalel son of Uri, son of Chur.” (Shmot 31:2) This verse contains an allusion to the sōd, the deep, beneath-the-surface understanding of each individual’s unique purpose. Our sages tell us that the words “I have called by name,” indicate that Betzalel’s mission already existed during the first six days of creation. Further, they teach us that the same is true for each of us, and each of our utterly unique missions. Each fits a particular and critical place and role within creation. Each of us has a God given purpose in the world that is ours and ours alone. No one else has ever had that mission, and no one else can ever fulfill what each of us is here to fulfill. And the opposite is also true. None of us can, in any way, infringe on the space of anyone else’s mission.

Individual and Klal-Collective

Going deeper, our sages teach us that the souls of all Jews are part of the original neshama of Adam HaRishon, the first human being. This tells us that we all ultimately share in one great, all-inclusive purpose that is fulfilled, bit-by-bit, through each of us. There is a grand, over-arching meaning and purpose, and within that, every individual has a particular contribution to make. In the words of our sages, this is conceived as each individual being a particular cell and limb within the collective “body,” of Adam HaRishon. In their words, at the earliest moments of his existence, God showed Adam “Every righteous person that would be his progeny. Some would be connected to his hair, some his forehead, some his eyes, nose, ears or mouth.” (Shmot Rabba 40:3) With this image, we are being taught that just like the eyes and ears each have their particular design, function and purpose, the same is true for every soul: Each has it’s own uniquely crafted light to contribute to the great purpose of all existence.

The purpose of one neshama may be expressed through one’s talent for speaking, another for listening, another in creative arts, and so forth. And, just like an eye could never fulfill the function of an ear, and could never overlap with the purpose of an ear, the same is true for every person, and every soul’s purpose.


The soul is a spiritual conduit that enables shefa, a “flow,” of radiant Godliness into the world. Each particular shefa brings a nuanced spiritual influence into the world, with each shefa flowing through the one and only neshama that was uniquely crafted for that purpose. Therefore, no soul can possibly infringe on the shefa-mission of another. To even try to do so would be like planting a vineyard in the soil and  region ideal for apples. It simply can’t work. Indeed, the Rashash, the great 18th century kabbalist taught that, “No two days are alike, no two creations are alike, and no two righteous people are alike. And this is precisely why there is such an enormous responsibility on each individual in the realm of mitzvot and prayer; for each person can only repair (the spiritual flaws in the world) and each person can only elevate—make the spiritual contribution—that is particularly and uniquely suited to him. [In the Beit HaMikdash] the chelbona spice achieves what it achieves, and not what the levona spice achieves. Therefore, each Jew has a fundamental need for every other Jew, and no one can achieve what somewhat else is meant to achieve.” (Nahar Shalom 3:2)

Purposeful Design

Each and every person is created with the tools and abilities to achieve what he or she is intended to achieve. Whatever a person has in their personality and life, is exactly what is needed to fulfill his spiritual mission in life. And, whatever shortcomings one may have, and challenges one may face, all of these are also customed designed to bring out and polish other inner capabilities that are part of one’s mission.

If we are able to reflect on this, and to take it to heart, we will appreciate that everyone is a unique and complete world unto themselves, and any attempt to compare ourselves with others and to measure ourselves by the accomplishments of others, is folly. And so, each of our paths is ours alone; uniquely and beautifully ours, ours to pursue and to actualize. Along this path of life crafted by God, we strive to merge our deep, inner yearning for success and accomplishment with the tranquility of knowing that there is no need to look anywhere other than within ourselves. Hashem has perfectly shaped each of us, our lives, to match our potential and mission, and He guides us, always, in a way that is in harmony with the absolute uniqueness of our souls.


To receive weekly divrei Torah from Rabbi Sasson:           Whatsapp: +972536240891

Translated by Shimon Apisdorf