Why The Source?
A little while ago I ran an experiment.
I asked a group of students to list what they considered to be the biggest problems in the world today. They didn’t hold back and listed every major crisis, calamity and catastrophe they could think of. When their extensive catalogue had finished I asked a further question- what were the roots behind these issues. What had caused this list to exist? We went through each difficulty one by one and studied the origin of how this situation came to be. They found that there was actually only one thing on that list that has caused it all, one issue that had produced every single tragedy. Humans. Humans were the cause of all of the world’s biggest problems. It wasn’t G-d, natural disasters or anything beyond our control. It was us.
I then asked one last question to the group, something that would make this exercise practical. It was a very simple question and one that we always need to think about in these situations- what is the solution? And the truth is that their answer was almost too simple. Create better humans. That is the solution to most of the problems in this world. The only question that remained was how to do it. How to create a system where people could become better and we could solve problems instead of preserve them, offer solutions instead of setbacks and produce answers instead of difficulties.
Since we look to the Torah for constant guidance in every facet of our lives and we believe that the Torah has everything in it, the first place to inquire is what the Torah has to say about the inner workings of humankind. Is there a step by step approach that if any person followed it, they could better themselves?
If we look at Jewish history, we will discover that this was always the case. People were working on themselves in a regimented system all throughout the generations. Unfortunately, as a result of the Holocaust, there are today very few that have a direct tradition of how it was supposed to be done. Rav Shlomo Wolbe ZTL once said that in the days before the war, you could stop any average wagon driver and ask them what character trait they were working on at the moment and they would tell you. There has always been a way for people to tap into their character and refine it. It hasn’t always been plastered over every billboard and signpost for everyone to see, but it has always been there.
I believe that people want to better themselves. People deep down know that they have to. People want to grow and climb higher. But most people don’t have a ladder. They don’t know how to do it, where to start or even what will make the biggest difference in their lives.
Additionally, we live in a world where there are issues between husbands and wives, parents and children, within social circles and in every level where there are relationships. If we are looking for solutions then we must recognise that most of these issues will simply disappear if people are working on their character.
This is why The Source was born.