The Maggid's lesson teaches us the wondrous distinction of man and his intellectual and moral attributes. Through the subjugation of his intellect to the service of G‑d, he is more exalted than the highest of the high. Now all this concerns man as he was created; he is endowed at the outset with the potentialities of the ideal man, to fulfill his mission in life, the goal of the soul's descent into the physical world. It must be understood that these are only potential. To realize these potentialities entails strenuous effort.

By way of illustration: when one desires to build a house, it is not enough to have the land and materials required for the construction; they do not become a house by themselves. Someone must expend effort to transform the materials into a building, and the effort is considerable.

There is a difference, however, between the illustration and our subject. Materials and craftsmanship, coupled considerable effort, are all that is needed in the construction of a physical edifice. Not so in the building of a man in achieving self-fulfillment. For although G‑d grants man the materials and potentialities required for the task, yet another factor must be considered-the materials, so to speak, are mixed up, and clothed in soiled garments.

In the earth, the most brilliant diamond is found encrusted in impurities. The gem must first be mined and then properly cleansed in order to reveal its G‑d given brilliance. Man, the diamond shining with the light that is good, 1 is born clothed in gross garments, with impurities of mind and heart that must, as in the case of the diamond, be removed. Then, his soul will shine within him and he will fulfill his Divinely ordained mission in life.