Dear Readers,

An acquaintance of mine has a taxing job. She is up at the crack of dawn, six days a week. She regularly puts in more than 60-hour weeks and rarely takes vacations. She’s constantly on call, and when anything goes wrong, she’s the address. Though her work entails tremendous responsibility, for now, she gets paid only enough to cover her basic expenses.

My friend is an entrepreneur. She proudly tells me how much she loves what she does. She loves setting her own hours, investing in and building her future, and most importantly, being her own boss.

I know a group of people who used to enjoy talking in shul during the services. After constantly being reprimanded, they eventually decided to establish their own shul. Surprisingly, they now have a strict policy against extraneous talking that they collectively enforce. They take pride that the atmosphere in their shul is one of reflective, serene devotion to prayers.

A man I know is very wealthy. He has the means to hire whatever help he needs and delegates menial tasks to his assistants.

One day, this man decided to start his own volunteer organization to help people in need. He is so dedicated to his organization that he puts his life and soul into it. He personally makes deliveries or drop-offs, calls people on the phone, prepares refreshments for meetings and even sweeps up after events. Nothing is “beneath” him when it comes to his own organization.

Isn’t it amazing what we are willing to do when we feel that something is our own? When we assume ownership of a project or undertaking, we are willing to go far beyond the line of duty to make sure it is successful.

Because we don’t feel like we are doing it for someone else. It is ours. We set the tone. We set the example. We reap the benefits. And so we are willing to give it our all.

G‑d created our world with the goal of making a “dwelling place in the lower worlds,”(Tanya, Chapter 36), transforming our material world into a home where holiness would feel comfortable. G‑d contributes the bricks, so to speak, for this dwelling—the physical world. We provide the spirituality by imbuing our lives and world with meaning and purpose.

But G‑d doesn’t ask us to be His workers in changing our world. He asks us to take ownership and become His partner (Shabbos 119b) in making our world better.

We are the entrepreneurs of our world. We are the head of this amazing organization called planet earth. Let’s take ownership, in the fullest extent of the word, and do what’s needed to finally steer our enterprise to its utmost success.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW