"Okay, boys," the gym instructor said with a smile. "We're just going to do some stretches now." It was Wednesday, which meant "gym" to the year 7 boys and the instructor was really pushing, taking things to a new extreme.

"Oh no," groaned Sam. "I think my back is going to snap," his face was almost purple as he stretched downwards, more and more.

"You just have to believe," the instructor said in a booming voice "that you can do it. I know that it is in the capabilities of every one of you boys to become really fit".

The class didn't look very convinced as they tried to stretch their muscles, panting and changing colors at the same time. "Very good, now we are just going to sprint across to the other side of the gym and back, only five times."

In the changing room afterwards Sam said, "I think this instructor is from a different planet, my body for sure isn't designed for this kind of thing. Maybe if I were Superman I would be able to do all those exercises without half fainting."

"Well, it's interesting," said Daniel, one of the other boys in the class. "The Torah tells us that we should 'go in the ways of G‑d.' But how can we do that? G‑d is infinitely great and infinitely holy. How can He ask us to go in His ways, to be like Him? He seems to be demanding the impossible."

"Yes, we are surrounded by demands to do the impossible," said Sam. "You have to be like Superman to do what the gym instructor wants, and like an angel to do what G‑d wants."

At the supper table that night Sam decided to ask his father about why things were so difficult for him, since he was only human. "Daddy, why didn't G‑d create me as an angel? Or as Superman?" he asked.

His father looked at him "Sam, the truth is that you can do more then all the angels can."

"What do you mean?" asked Sam, adding "Can you pass me the croutons please?"

"Here you are," his father said, passing him the croutons. Then he explained, "G‑d put inside each person a very great power, a Soul. This power is even greater than the angels. You have the power to carry out a good deed. This has a wonderful effect; it changes the world. Now, an angel is holy, but it cannot do that. So you don't have to be envious of angels, they can be envious of you."

"But how can a person be so holy, like the Torah says, going in G‑d's ways?"

"You just have to try," said his father. "That's what G‑d wants. He gives you the direction, to try to be more holy, and you try as much as you can. For example, when someone gets pocket money, and they put a few pence of that in a charity box, giving charity. That is a good deed which makes you achieve much more than the angels."

"Well, what about being Superman? The gym instructor seems to think that's what we are, doing stretches and press-ups and running like mad."

"He just wants you to try hard," said his father, smiling. "There would be no point if you were Superman. He wants you to improve as much as you can, getting really fit, and only you, Sam, can do that."