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Weekly Letter: The Purpose of Man

The first parsha in the Torah – Bereishis – describes the creation of the world and everything within and without it and lays the foundation for the purpose of creation: MAN. In this week’s letter the Rebbe clearly and simply explains what this purpose is, what it is that man was created to do, thereby fulfilling the purpose and destiny of the entire creation. The letter, written originally in English, is from the archives of the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel.

By the Grace of G-d
25 Elul, 5719
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Greeting and Blessing:
…When Adam was created, the Creator immediately apprised him of his powers and told him what his purpose in life would be:
Replenish the earth and conquer it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. (Gen. 1:28).
Man was given the power to conquer the whole world and rule over it, on land, in the sea and in the air and he was enjoined so to do; this was his task.
How was this world conquest to be attained, and what is the purpose and true meaning of it? This is what our Sages tell us and teach us in this regard:
When G-d created Adam, his soul – his Divine image – permeated and irradiated his whole being, by virtue of which he became the ruler over the entire Creation. All the creatures gathered to serve him and crown him as their creator. But Adam, pointing out their error, said to them: “Let us all come worship G-d, our Maker!”
The world conquest which was given to man as his task and mission in life, is to elevate the whole of Nature, including beasts and animals, to the service of true humanity, humanity permeated and illuminated by the Divine Image, by the soul which is veritably a part of G-d above, so that the whole Creation will realize that G-d is our Maker.
Needless to say, before man sets out to conquer the world, he must first conquer himself, through the subjugation of the earthly and beastly in his own nature. This is attained through actions which strictly accord with the directives of the Torah, the Law of Life – the practical guide in everyday living, so that the material becomes permeated and illuminated with the light of the One G-d, our G-d.
G-d created one man and on this single person on earth He imposed the said duty and task. Herein lies the profound, yet clear directive, namely, that one man – each and every man – is potentially capable of conquering the world.
If a person does not fulfill his task and does not utilize his inestimable divine powers – it is not merely a personal loss and failure, but something that affects the destiny of the whole world.
With blessing,