I got a job today. Not much. Just something to pay the bills.
Usually I don’t like jobs. Mostly because they involve work. And doing things. And being bossed around.
But this job is different. I’m actually pumped to do it. And, who knows, I might actually stay excited.
The reason: it is a job at my yeshiva. A place I care deeply about. One of the only places in the world I feel like my true self. To be honest, if they asked me to clean the place with a toothbrush, I’d probably be excited about it.
The difference is because most jobs, they involve some sacrifice of dignity. Some level of giving ourselves over to something we don’t totally believe in. Something like working for some large company, or some store. Flipping burgers. Or some high-paid lawyer equivalent. Most jobs, it’s hard to see the merit in them.
But then there are those jobs that we see their large purpose clearly. Even when we have a tiny role in the bigger scheme of things, we feel connected, we feel significant. Cleaning the floor? Hey someone’s gotta do it, and man, are we glad to just be a part of the whole thing.
Most people, when they hear what religion’s all about, that you’re just a cog in a big machine, they say, “No thanks”. When they hear being a Jew means you gotta listen to a Rav, that you gotta take orders from some big invisible… well, hey, that doesn’t sound fun. It sounds like you’re a little screw, a little nothing.
But that’s because they don’t see the beauty of their job. It’s because they don’t see the larger picture. To do a job for the most meaningful, the only meaningful, thing in the universe, and beyond it, that is a beautiful job, that is the only job that means anything, the only job we should strive for.
Anyone that’s worked at a job they care about knows that suddenly, being on the bottom rung doesn’t matter. That getting paid less or getting less respect from the whole world cannot compare to the feeling of working for something that matters. That all that “hard work” stuff is easy when it’s for something real, for something higher and deeper and truer.
That’s the beauty of working for the Heavens. Because when we work for the heavens, or boss, he may demand a lot, he may tell you, hey go be a screw in a big fat machine, but you know what, if that screw ain’t there, that machine, it’s falling apart. And there’s nothing more you want than to keep that machine oiled and well-maintained and moving like it should. And so you’re the best screw in the whole friggin’ world, and every time you hear that machine chugging along, you smile, and when it needs to be fixed, you have no problem doing the work.
The beauty of all this is that when you truly feel it, when it’s truly real, you can do any job in this external world, and you can turn it into the Ultimate Job. Every single thing, moment, and action becomes an opportunity to help the Great Above connect to the world below. And in the end, on the deepest level, that’s the only job you want.
Even if you’re a screw.