This week’s Parasha briefly mentions that one who murders another is subject to the punishment of death. The Mishnah in Sanhedrin points out that murder is an extremely severe act, since all subsequent generations are wiped out, not just one individual. The Mishnah elaborates that, for this very same reason, when one kills another it is as if a whole world has been lost. The Mishnah then concludes that every man is obligated to say “Bishvili nivrah ha’olam” – The world was created for me.
This outstanding concept is not an excuse to skip to the front of the queue or to barge on a bus, nor is it a reason to lead a life of haughtiness. R’ Yerucham Levowitz zt”l, the Mashgiach of Mir Yeshivah explains that Hashem brought each and every person into this world and constructed every moment for that individual. There are billions of individuals in the world with their own past, present and future, no two people are the same. Every one leads a life of events which was built for them and them only, it can so happen that their life can clash with another but they are still entirely separate. For example, you get into a car accident, Chas Veshalom, the immediate reaction is why did he crash into me? This is an incorrect approach; the correct question that should be asked is why were you put into such an event? And the same goes for your counterpart who crashed into you. You both have independent reasons why you were found to be there. For each and every person, Hashem stringed together a sequence of events which is unique only to them and in essence created that world for them.
However, there is more to what R’ Yerucham means. Every blink, breath and even sneeze that was brought into this world was for you. If the sun shines on you today, that was for you. If you pass by a beautiful scenery, that was for you. If you are witness to a bad deed, you should ask yourself why was I put in a place where I was to see such a thing. There is a reason for every second in this world, and a purpose for all moments and feelings.
The purpose of this idea is not to make a person self conscious of their every move, neither is it to speculate the twitch of an ant, rather it is to appreciate the value of life and its sequence of events. If we approach these correctly, we can use them to build ourselves and to maximise our potential