I once heard a rav say that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Another time he discussed the notion of the difference between those who have a “piece” of Olam Haba versus those who are a ben Olam Haba. One who has a piece of Olam Haba can lose it, but a ben Olam Haba is one who is rooted in the next world as if it’s a yerusha. This person will be welcomed to the next world as a son who belongs.
How does one reconcile the idea that you are presently exactly where you’re supposed to be in concordance with the fact that the goal is to be a ben Olam Haba, which requires mammoth growth and change?
Perhaps from a life perspective you are in fact where you need to be in terms of where you were born, what your past was like, how you became what you became, where you live, who you are presently interacting with, what you’re accomplishing and what kind of change you’re causing. But regardless of this, if you want to be a ben Olam Haba who has an indelible piece in the next world, whereby you will be celebrated when you arrive, you must be pushing your spiritual cylinders at full blast.
So, indeed, you are where you’re supposed to be, but to become a permanent member in the next world, a tireless spiritual engagement in learning, mitzvot and chesed must be implemented. This ability to become a ben Olam Haba, even when man’s birth embodies inherent impurity as Tazria connotes, is celebratory.
Steven Genack is the author of “Articles, Anecdotes & Insights,” Genack/Genechovsky Torah from Gefen Press.