A business professional in Michigan named Ken Lingenfelter owns about 230 cars. Entertainer Jay Leno has about 170 and Jerry Seinfeld owns about 150. Each of those avid car collectors has a list of a few more cars that he’d really love to acquire but knows he probably won’t. Healthy people eventually recognize that nobody gets everything they want.
Even when we acquire what we want, we usually find ourselves wanting more, putting us back to square one. God created us with infinite desires. Happiness depends upon knowing that not all ambitions and longings can or should be realized.
This message is so important for humans to absorb that it is presented as a set of bookends to the Torah, appearing both at the beginning and at the end. It is as if the good Lord is saying, “Look, life has a huge paradox. I have created you with limitless ambition, countless hopes, and inexhaustible dreams. I want you to pursue those boundless visions but I don’t want your happiness to depend upon attaining them.”