What does it take to fill a glass? An ounce? Eight ounces? A liter? It depends, of course, on the size of the glass. A one ounce glass takes just an ounce to be full, but a gallon glass requires a whole gallon.
R. Zushe of Anipoli, a great Chassidic leader in the eighteenth century, was wont to say. “When I come to heaven after 120 years, they won’t ask me, ‘why weren’t you Moses?’ Rather, they will say, ‘Why weren’t you Zushe?'”
It is not our task to strive to be as great as Moses, or even as good as the guy down the street. We have to be ourselves, but our best possible selves.
In this week’s Torah portion, we are taught about the sacrifices that every Jew was obligated to bring on the holidays. Says the Torah “[Every] man [shall bring] as much as he can afford, according to the blessing of the L-rd, your G-d, which He has given you.”
Someone might think, wow, the other person gave a huge herd of animals. Forget it. What’s my little goat worth? Thus the Torah tells us “as much as he can afford.” We don’t have to be as good as the other guy. We have to be as good as ourselves.
A small shot glass may only have one ounce of vodka, but it is full. A big pitcher may have 5 times as much and still not even be half full. If someone else learns every morning and evening, you may think, I can never do that, so I may as well not even bother. Or when you hear of a neighbor’s million dollar pledge, you may wonder, what’s my eighteen dollars worth?
To G-d it’s worth everything, Because what G-d awaits from you is “according to the blessing…which He has given you.” He knows what you have to give, and that’s all he expects. All you have to do is strive to fulfill your own potential, pour until you fill your own glass.
Dedicated in honor of Michael Isaac Ben Daniel for good health, success and all blessings