Several months later, on a Sunday morning at 8:00 AM the professor was franticly knocking on George's frontdoor with George’s homework in his hand. “I just wrote an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so we can send it out right away for publication.” It turns out the problems on the board were not homework but two unsolvable equations. George had missed the start of the lecture when the professor explained this fact. The professor worked with George to develop his equations into a PhD thesis.
This week we finish the book of Vayikra, which is sometimes called Torahat Kohanim, (instructions for priests). Why are the instructions for the priests found in the Torah, which is meant to be learned by all of the Jews not just the priests?
The Chief Rabbi of Israel met with the students of my yeshiva yesterday. He taught us many beautiful pieces of Torah. One story he discussed was about Winston Churchill’s visit to Tel Aviv.
Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv, heard the news that a young Winston Churchill, then secretary of the ministry of colonies of the British Empire, was planning a visit and he worried that the ramshackle settlement wasn’t up to muster to receive such a distinguished guest. So the mayor had trees brought in and planted along the barren, dirt road entering the city.
As fate would have it , the trees didn’t take root in the sandy soil, and when a strong wind blew on the day of Churchill’s visit, it knocked a few of them down just as the future British prime minister arrived.
“The trees in Tel Aviv need roots,” Churchill is said to have told Dizengoff.
Just before receiving the Torah, God tells Moshe that if the Jewish people adhere to the Torah they will be a “nation of priests” Just as the priests have a special task among the people, so to the Jewish people as a whole have a special task among the nations. That is why we read Torahat Kohanim. It is an important message for the entire Jewish people, every Jew is extremely holy.
Intermarriage is one the greatest challenges facing the American Jewish community today. One reason for intermarriage is the fact that Jews are not made aware of the importance of their task in this world. What is this task? “to be a light on to the nations”, to help heal the world, to bring the light of Torah to all the people, just as the Kohanim do for the Jewish people.
The Jews in America don't understand how great they are, what they are capable of achieving. In order for them to reach their full potential to understand their roots, they must connect with a teacher and a community.George was not aware of the great work he had done. Perhaps if he did not hand in the homework or the professor did not work with him, he never would have realized his full potential.
The trees in Tel Aviv may need roots, but every Jew has roots stronger and deeper than they ever could imagine. All that is necessary is for us to be made aware of the power within each of us of the holy inherent inheritance we all possess.
Link to Georges Wiki page