On 9/11, for the first time in the history of the world, we heard the recorded phone calls of people minutes before their deaths. What did people say in those last phone calls? I love you Mommy. I love you Daddy. I love you my son. I love you my daughter. I love you Grandpa. I love you Grandma. I love you my wife. I love you my husband. And what does a person do when they have one minute left to live? One hour. One day. One year. What do we do when time is running out? If we knew we had one year left to live what would we do?

It never seems like anyone has enough time But the truth is that the moment that we are born, we begin to die. Given how quickly the years pass, it never seems like anyone has enough time. And it's true. It isn't enough time if we view our lives as ends in themselves. However, if we remember that each of us is a link in the precious, eternal chain of Jewish history, then we realize that we are given exactly the amount of time we need to fulfill our unique missions in this world. Each link in the chain has its own strength and purpose. But what if we don't fulfill our individual missions in this world? What if we don't even know what they are? No one wants to leave this world without having fulfilled their potential…

I have heard different opinions about figuring out your mission in this world. One is to look at your weakest character trait, and then approach every experience in your life as an opportunity to transform that deficiency into a positive characteristic. Another approach is to find out what your greatest strengths and talents are and then look around you at what your community needs. With both of these approaches, a person's mission may look very different on the outside at various stages in his life. But one aspect remains the same: each of us has a mission. Each of us has an obligation to search for and relentlessly pursue her unique role and purpose in this world. Because when we fail to build our own links in the chain, then the whole Jewish nation suffers.

There is no room for apathy In every generation that the Holy Temple isn't rebuilt, it is considered as if that generation destroyed Jerusalem. There is no middle ground. There is no room for apathy or disunity in our history. We are either building or destroying. We cannot remain passive; we must focus on revealing and then fulfilling our missions.

When we were given the Torah, Moshe told each and every Jew where to stand. If even one of us was out of place, then we couldn't receive the Torah. Each person received his own specific portion of the Torah and without that person's portion, the whole Torah would be incomplete. This is still true today. Each of our souls is created to receive a specific part of the Torah, but we need to be standing in the right place. We need to be open to receiving our own blueprints for our missions.

Since I was little I've been the type of person who loves upside-down roller coasters and intense sports. I never understood the reason until recently. On Chanukah this year, I was running around with my kids at an amusement park, and we were having a blast going on all of the rides. Then we decided to try the "Skycoasting" ride, which is like bungee jumping for beginners. I was in the middle, and my two girls were on either side of me as we were pulled up a hundred feet into the air. And when we reached what felt like the sky, the guy at the bottom yelled: "Fly!" And my daughter was in charge of releasing the latch that was holding us to the top rope. She's only ten-years-old; personally, I'm not sure I would have been able to release that latch. But as terrifying as the hundred foot free fall was, it was definitely among the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had. We were flying! We were on the physical edge of everything that we could be, even if just for a moment. And that's the same thrill of racing upside down on a roller coaster; you can feel the unbelievable intensity of the edge of existence.

We all have these latches But I kept thinking about how much courage it took for my daughter to release that latch on the rope. And then I realized that we all have these latches in our lives—different defenses and fears that hold us back from learning how to fly. We're scared of change. We're full of doubts. We are more comfortable on the ground. We think that we'll get hurt if we try. But we all know there is a voice that is calling (although sometimes we can only hear its echo). "Fly!" it cries. "You need to release your latch. It's time to fly!"

And when we gather the courage to climb to our spiritual heights, then we can place each of our own unique bricks into the broken walls of Jerusalem. And we can reconnect our broken chain as we each take our places with pride. And when G‑d calls to us: Let go of your latches. It's time to fly—we will be ready. Ready to release the latch, to rebuild all that is broken. Climb to the edge of who you are. And here is the message I want my children to hear, not a year or an hour or even a minute before I die, but right now: You can fly. You have the courage to release your latch. You are a special treasure in the Jewish nation. Without you, the chain can't continue. Without each of you, the walls of Jerusalem cannot stand.