Striving For Perfection

The Midrash states the following fascinating conversation:

Tornusrufus (Roman ruler who constantly challenged Rebbe Akiva) asked Rebbe Akiva, “what is better: the action of God or that of human’s?

Rebbe Akiva answered, “that of humans”!

“How can you say that?!”, asked Tornusrufus.

“Because I know what you are getting at!”

You are right, I do have an agenda, but I don’t understand your answer. Hashem created man a certain way, how can you go and perform a Bris Milah and change the body?!

Rebbe Akiva asked him, do you eat bread?


“How could you?!” questioned Rebbe Akiva, “God sent it down as stalks and you turn it into bread?!”

Turnusrufus laughed, “don’t be a fool, we take the raw product and we improve it!”

Rebbe Akiva countered, “listen to what you have just said! So too we take the raw product which Hashem created us as and we add to it perfection!”

We learn from this the purpose of life. We strive to take the raw body that Hashem has created us with and we perfect and develop it!

When Hashem commanded Avraham to perform a Bris, He stated, “הִתְהַלֵּךְ לְפָנַי וֶהְיֵה תָמִים, walk with Me and be complete, perfect”.

We as parents daven that we will help our son dedicate his life to being a true Eved Hashem, who utilizes his potential and strives for perfection!