The parshah starts off with laws pertaining to the mother who gave birth to a child. Rashi says in the name of Rabbi Simlai that the reason Parshat Tazria follows Parshat Shemini is because just as the fashioning of man came after all cattle, beasts, and fowl in the Torah’s account of the act of creation, so is his law explained after the laws of cattle, beast and fowl.”

This same Rabbi Simlai in the Gemara (Niddah 30b) describes the state of an unborn child in the mother’s womb. He says the following:

“There is a lit candle on its head by means of which he sees from one end of the world to the other.” What is the significance of this description?

The words of Rabbi Simlai can be explained metaphorically. The lit candle represents Torah and mitzvot, as the pasuk says, “For a mitzvah is a candle, and Torah is light” (Proverbs 6:23). Every person has the mission of enhancing the world with the light of his Torah and mitzvot. Before birth, Hashem gives him the opportunity to “see” the world in its entirety, and He declares, “Through your Torah and mitzvot, you have the potential to master the entire world, providing that you influence it and not permit it to influence you.”

The Gemara (Berachot 17a) says that when the Rabbis from the Yeshivah of Rav Ami would take leave of each other to return to their countries and homes, they would give a blessing one to the other “Olamcha tireh bechayecha” — “You shall see your world in your life.” According to Rashi, the intent was that “Whatever you may need should be readily available to you.”

Permit me to share with you, dear friends, what I think may be a profound intent of this berachah. The Hebrew word “olam” — “world” — is related to the word “helem” — “concealment” — because the world is actually a concealment of G‑dliness. The G‑dliness that permeates the world and is the source of its existence is concealed and not felt, to the extent that extent that one might mistakenly think that nothing is operating except the laws of nature.

As mentioned in the explanation of Rabbi Simlai’s description, the message to the embryo is that it has the potential to master and direct the entire world. However, this power is in a potential state and it is incumbent on man to reveal it and make his concealed powers a reality.

Unfortunately, mortal man is very limited and most people’s potential remains concealed and they do not merit to see the maximum realization of their potential. Thus, the students of Rav Ami would bless one another, namely, “Olamcha — your helem — concealed potential powers — tireh bechayecha — may you merit to see come to fruition during your lifetime.”

My dear Bar Mitzvah, you have demonstrated for us some of your superb talents. We are confident that you have the great potential to be a Chassid, yirei ShamayimG‑d fearing Jew — and a lamdan — scholar — of the highest degree. Our advice to you is that in the coming years, you should devote yourself entirely to diligent and assiduous Torah study, both nigleh — revealed — and chassidut — esoteric Torah studies. And may you merit that “Olamcha — your tremendous hidden potential, tireh bechayecha — you merit to see your potential revealed in full force,” uplifting yourself and the world around you to exalted heights.