Yom Kippur
Message on Bigness

by Rabbi Daniel Schur

One of the most conspicuous qualities of our age is "BIGNESS". Wherever we turn, we note the impact of "BIGNESS". We have become conscious, as never before, of the vastness of space, of the tremendous power in the atom, of the world-girdling communication-system of Telstar.

When we turn to business and industry, we note the continuing growth of the Super Market and the industrial giant, making the small business less and less feasible. Automation in many branches of industry has grown to a size where labor is deeply anxious. In the political world, the issues are big. Tensions in different parts of the globe affect people everywhere.

The European common market, Bosnia, the Middle East, are not local or regional problems. They look big on the international scene.

What has happened to the individual in this age of "BIGNESS"? How is the individual affected? It is obvious that, as the dimensions of the world expand, the individual becomes smaller and less significant.

The individual is overwhelmed and overshadowed by the physical and idealogical "BIGNESS" of the time. The individual finds himself increasingly pressured, molded, pushed and pulled by the great tides of the age. He feels helpless, physically and psychologically, and he begins to feel spiritually insignificant.

What is the message of Judaism this Yom Kippur to the individual man, the victim of "BIGNESS"? The moral directive of the TORAH is for the individual to grow spiritually with the times. Man must match "BIGNESS" with "GREATNESS".

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob found that the distance between themselves and the world of the times was very vast, almost unbridgeable. But they rose to the occasion, showed tremendous greatness, and created a faith and the people of Israel. Throughout our history, we have had GEDOLIM - great men, who have been a light and beacon to Jewry. Today, more than ever before, we need "great" Jews who will not be crushed by the times, but grow with the times and its challenges. Spiritually, we need a "takeover" - a generation of great men and women, who will steep themselves in the Jewish heritage, in Jewish learning and Jewish committment.

It is the firm faith of the Jew that man has the free will and the spiritual resources to renew himself, to rise to greatness. Yom Kippur is that occasion when each and every Jew may become a BRIYAH CHADASHAH - a new creature.

Let us turn this age of "BIGNESS" to the service of our G-d and our people through Torah "GREATNESS".