I’ve been thinking a lot recently about a persons tafkid.
What does it mean? How do I figure out my own? What would my tafkid consist of?
Well, for starters, a tafkid is a persons MISSION in life. It is the purpose for which they were born. It is their means by which they will get Olam Habah. It is what they have to accomplish in this world in order to attain the next.
It is, in other words a persons personal map. A route that they must take to get to their individual destination.
No two people have the same maps. Just like no two people look alike, no two people have the same goals to accomplish.
I sometimes feel like this starting step is where people may sometimes go wrong. They think they are in a rat race. Whoever gets to the top first wins.
But that’s ludicrous! Because every person dies at a different age in life. Everyone has different circumstances in their lives. Everyone comes from different backgrounds. Everyone has different struggles.
But for some reason, we still think we are all in the same race.
Whether be it with money, kids, homes, clothing, weddings, and daughters and sons in law!
All these things are externals that help us achieve our internal goals. They are only MEANS to an END. They have no value within itself.
Their value is is only as much as we elevate our INTERNAL selves through it.
So if I become a more compassionate person through my children then I’ve ELEVATED myself through them. If I use clothing as a means of allowing me to feel good and smile at other people, I’ve used the physical to become spiritual.
So what is my tafkid in life?
My tafkid is to take the PHYSICAL and use it as a conduit to become SPIRITUAL.
In other words, to become an image of G-d. In CHARACTER and in ACTION.
Now every person has a different stepping stone. Some people have more work to do and some people have less. Every person also has a different means to go about it. Everyone has natural strengths and weaknesses….
There could be some people that are almost complete and when they die it makes a big kidush hashem to the world. Like I think about the Sassoon children. Who were literally angels on earth. And when they died the whole world got a glimpse into what angels really are. And they were ( hopefully) inspired to be more than they are.
Of course, a persons tafkid is going to to be HARD to attain. There will be some goalies in our lives to block us from getting there. Because what good is soccer if it’s so easy! It could be internal blockages or external to us. But one things for certain, something hard for us to do, is probably going to be a hint to our ultimate mission.
As my principal Rabbi Geisler from Seminary used to say: If you have two choices in your head and one is easier than the other for you to do- probably the harder one is the correct choice!
Dont think that people get Olam Habah for nothing! The ultimate reward for a person is working for something and tasting their achievements. That’s why there is a coined phrase “Nahamah dichisufah.” Free bread. There is nothing like freshly baked homemade bread where you personally sweated over that dough! Store bought bread DOES NOT taste the same