Dear STOCS Friend
“And choose life.” The Torah simply informs us how to achieve a meaningful life. However, this does not come about with the snap of a finger. Rather, daily, we are faced with decisions throughout the day. Rabbi Soloveitchik points out the bechirah (free will) we have been granted by Hashem, is “a situation in which a person must select from one of two alternatives that are equally attractive.”
Some decisions are difficult, others not. However, the key is our decision-making process should be directed by good and evil, life or death.
The Sefer Ner Mitzvah V’Torah Ohr points out a grammatical teaching. The sentence tells us: וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים why is the letter ב (bet) before the word ַחַיִּים? The letter Bet teaches us within life there is a crucial element. Life only has meaning when it is predicated upon the sentence that follows וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים.
לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְקֹוָק אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה בוֹ כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ
To love the Lord Your God, listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him, for that is your life and length of days.
With Rosh Hashanah quickly approaching, the key to the Book of Life for 5784 is within the reach of all. Hashem is waiting for our choice and actions that support and define true, meaningfully spiritual rewarding life.
I wish the entire congregation a good Shabbas, the last one of 5783.