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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Color War 2014: Breakout

In the Mishna Bavli, Sanhedrin 37B, it says:
“כל אחד ואחד חייב לומר בשבילי נברא העולם’’

Why did Hashem create his world starting from only one man? Because every person was placed in this world to complete Hashem’s creation with the talents that He has given them. We each have a task here to complete, and using your talents to make your mark and leave a legacy can help us do so.

Sometimes we feel like we cannot make an impact on the world. We tell ourselves we are too weak, too small, and too insignificant to change this world. But that’s not true.

Pop culture and media tell us that to change the world you need to be physically strong, classically beautiful, and nothing short of perfect. But Judaism teaches us otherwise. The Torah teaches us that we all have the power to change this world, inch by inch. God gives each of us talents, be they Logic, Creativity, Persuasion or Fortitude. It is our duty, as Jews, to use each of the talents God gave us to its fullest potential by using them to leave a legacy.

What is a legacy? It’s more than just leaving your mark. It’s using your talents to serve your family, your community, your humanity and your God. We don’t have to be presidents or kings to leave a legacy; God gave each of us unique talents and there is something each and every one of us can do to leave behind our legacy. It is up to us to decide how we will be remembered when we are gone.

The President of Yeshiva University, Richard Joel, tells the story of a man walking along the sand. He sees a young boy picking up the starfish that were washed up on shore and throwing them back into the water. The man asks the boy, “What are you doing?” The boy explained, “If the starfish stay on the sand, they will dry out and die. I’m saving them.” The man was shocked. “But there’s hundreds of starfish washed up on this beach. Your work won’t make a difference,” the man protested. The boy scooped up a starfish and threw it back in the ocean before turning back to the man and saying, “I made a difference to that one.”

Here at Yeshivah of Flatbush, you are given four years to figure out what your talents are to help develop them. Between our extra-curriculars, our chesed programs, and your daily classes, there are so many chances for self-expression. Use your talents to help your fellow students, your teachers and your school. No matter how small you think your talent might be, you never know what will make a difference to someone else. If something as small as a smile can change someone’s day, imagine what you can do with all your effort.

Leaving a legacy does not mean saving the world in one big, dramatic gesture. It means using our talents to help those around us. Wherever we go, be it North, South, East or West, we will leave a legacy behind. What do you want to be remembered for? What will your legacy be?

This year's color war focuses on the theme of Leaving Your Mark: Legacy. Each team represents a different way of leaving one's mark:

Green - Persuasion שכנוע
Red - Creativity יצרתיות
Yellow - Fortitude אמיצות
Blue - Logic הגיון

We broke out Color War 2014 with this amazing video: