Moneh mispar la’kochavim, l’chulam sheimos yikra.

He counts the number of the stars, to all of them He assigns names.


Hashem counts the multi-trillions or more of stars (it is said that there are more stars than all the grains of sand on earth) and gives each a “name,” meaning each has a specific purpose and power. This connects with the next pasuk, which speaks of Hashem’s limitless and unfathomable awesomeness.

Many wonderful Torah-observant Jews ask themselves quite despondently: What is my purpose? I am not a rosh yeshivah or a rav, I have not finished Shas, I have not been featured or even mentioned in a magazine or newspaper, I haven’t started a chesed organization, I have not given millions or even hundreds of thousands to tz’dakah, I did not start the Bais Yaakov movement, I am not a working Super Mom who supports a kollel husband while raising ten children, and I don’t have guests every Shabbos. I am just a simple Jew who seems to be accomplishing so much less than all the “other” people. What could my purpose possibly be?

It is well established in Chazal that the Jewish people are compared to the stars. It is also well known that a name represents one’s essence and purpose. Thus, this pasuk provides uplifting encouragement to all of us. Each and every one of us has a unique role and purpose. Just as the stars were each given a specific power and ability, so, too, we are each given specific powers to impact the world – and worlds we know nothing about. Every word of Torah and tefilah, every mitzvah, every time we resist temptation, every pain/difficulty/frustration that we accept (all the more so when we accept with love and simchah) is heavily impacting the worlds. Every thought, feeling, word spoken, and act is crucially important and a great opportunity granted to us by Hashem to serve Him and to come closer to Him.

Even if we don’t specifically target our unique purpose, Hashem knows exactly what it is and has given us precisely the strengths, weaknesses, and life-setting we need in order to fulfill that purpose. We may think of ourselves as “just a simple Jew,” but Hashem thinks of us as His firstborn child, whom He loves more than we can fathom. If we put forth our best efforts in whatever setting Hashem has placed us in, we will impact worlds, we will bring “pleasure” to Hashem, and we will fulfill our purpose despite the lack of glamour or fame.

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