This week’s Torah portion conveys a sense of awe for the birth of a child. And while thousands of years have passed since the writing of the Torah, still we feel a sense of awe, not only with the birth of every baby, but as we watch our children grow from infancy to maturity.
Yes, ultrasound has enabled us to view our babies even before they are born. And yet, with all of our medical discoveries, we are just as puzzled and awe-stricken by the birth of a baby as were our ancestors. For who can explain how a drop of seed travels to unite with an ovulated egg to eventually become a person, endowed with a Divine Image?
For our sages, and for us also, there is the realization that each of us comes into this world as a sacred mystery; a life that has been nurtured by a “Divine Breath,” even before we enter this world. And imagine, as babies we “know” that we are at the center of the world, with our every wish and demand to be satisfied. But as we grow and mature, we become capable of delaying our wishes and feeling for others; capable of sharing ourselves and easing the pain of another through deeds of caring and kindness. And something profound happens as we grow: we become capable of making choices and setting goals, and serving as nothing less than Divine emissaries of light and blessing.
Yes, every birth is a mystery, and there is so much that we are not given to understand. But for sure, we can understand that life is a sacred opportunity, and that we all seek the vision and wisdom to make of our lives the blessing of goodness and light that our lives are intended to be.