I'm in the car on the way home from the airport. It's been an incredible trip to Eretz Yisroel for my older sister Chaya Sara's wedding. As we ride home, we look out the window for airplanes. The kids love spotting them in the sky and we take turns guessing if the plane is landing or just took off.
"The plane is so tiny," my son says.
"Could you believe we were just up on the sky in one of those tiny looking airplanes?"
And we talk about it. How all airplanes are really so much bigger than they look...because they are so far away. When we are inside, we can see their true size, but when we are down on the ground they appear to be so little and tiny.
This gets me thinking.
I think about people.
I think about every person.
Every person on this world has so much in them. So much depth, so much history, so much to offer and so much to share. From far, before you get to know them, they might seem so little. There might not appear to be more to them than their external.
She? She's so yeshivish.
Too frum for my liking.
Oh, her? That girl? That woman? That teenager?
She looks like she could use a little lecture in [shmiras halashon, anger management, tznius, hilchos shabbos...]
There's so much we don't know about the people we meet.
We may think we see, we may think we have an idea, but really, that first encounter is just a scratch on the surface. We are seeing people at a distance.
She may look like she has it all, but do you know how much she is struggling inside?
When you get to know the person, the real person inside, you can get to see how big they truly are. Their past, their upbringing, their challenges, their successes. All this, and more, is what makes them so much bigger than they appear to be.
She may look so yeshivish, but do you know what it took for her to get there? Do you have any idea what kind of home she grew up in, how she struggled to stay strong even when she could have gone under? Do you know that she could relate to challenges you are struggling with because of her history and the life and home she chose to build for herself? She's so much more than just her outside dress. Get to know her. Look past the clothing and shy smile. See what a deep, incredible person you are encountering.
All of us have depth. Each of us are more than just a tiny speck in this vast world of humanity. We may look small in a crowd of people, but each of us is really big. We are big because of the challenges we overcame, the middos we have worked on and the people we are striving to become. We each have so much to offer, so much to give and so much power to affect those around us in a positive way.
* * *
I think about the Torah.
From a distance, the Torah seems so small. How much is in those five little books? How much can it encompass?
But as one gets closer, they start to realize how much is in those five little books. So so much. The Torah is so vast, it is so deep, everything is in it.
"Hafoch ba v'Hafoch ba"
Everything is in it.
Halachos about how to treat each other, how to deal with other people's money, how to respect our parents, how to work on ourselves...It's all there.
There are practical lessons for life found in every pasha. I find them...Every week.
Advice, chizuk, knowledge, depth, the Torah is so full. Once one starts to get closer to the Torah, they begin to realize how little they know and how much there is to gain. The more one reads and studies, the more they will see how much there is to still attain.
From afar, the Torah may seem quite small. But the closer a person gets to this never-ending wellspring of knowledge and depth, the more they will see how vast the Torah truly is.
May you be able to see, to know, to explore and understand this special gift called the Torah and may it enrich your life in so many ways!