- Posted by tisrael
- On August 30, 2019
- 0 Comments
See, I place before you blessing and curse.
These words begin this week’s Torah portion. It seems pretty straightforward. In the wilderness, Moses tried to prepare the people before they were to cross over the Jordan River. He even used visual aids, which is what we used before PowerPoint presentations. From their vantage point, they could see two mountains. One was lush, covered in moss and foliage; a stream ran along the bottom nourishing the earth, the epitome of blessing. The other mountain lay barren, parched, and naked; cursed by its inability to flourish. Both served as the physical embodiment of the choice set before the fledgling nation. Blessing or curse: which one would they choose?
It turns out it actually wasn’t an either/or nor a both/and proposition. The actual challenge was in the choice, in making a choice–in the perpetual call upon our forbearers, and now upon us, to engage in choice making.
We are constantly making choices. They are not always as stark as the two mountains facing the ancient Israelites. Paths diverge in front of us every day, every minute, and probably every second. We are making choices about our thoughts, our actions, and our very existence even when we don’t realize we are making them. And then when we ask for forgiveness, we are saying: I made this choice and not that choice. Choosing is as much a part of our life as is breathing. When we stop making choices, we cease to exist as active human beings engaged with the world.
As citizens of this country, we are granted the opportunity to make choices with regard to our leaders. To cast a vote is to raise a voice with agency and power.
Let us celebrate our ability to choose and to vote. We must never bow to the notion that our choice raise questions about our loyalty.
See, I place before you a blessing and a curse.
We get to choose.
We are INSIDE tonight. Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. Live stream HERE. Torah study begins at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning with a short service and Torah reading.
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