The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, taught that everything a person sees and hears has a lesson for us, relevant to our unique mission in the world.

What better time to reflect on this than when you are stuck at the traffic lights at a very busy intersection, with no movement in sight and a long day ahead?

My thoughts went something like this: “Mmm. Wow, the traffic is really increasing in the area. The road transportation department has to think and plan for the future! (Amazingly, this had never entered my thinking before.) Similarly, the population is ever-increasing. The housing department also has to think and plan for our future!

Then, I thought, what is our department? Our work is to transform the world and draw down new light. We do this through acts of goodness and kindness, by learning and practicing Torah and by performing mitzvot.

We also have to “think and plan for the future.” We must plan for the new reality of the Redemption, a time when the world will be completely transformed from darkness to light. In fact, it’s part of our job description.