Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Re'ei 5631 First and Second Ma'amarim

1. “רְאֵה אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם הַיוֹם בְּרָכָה וּקְלָלָה/Look, I place before you today blessing and curse.” The Chiddushei HaRim notes that this pasuk establishes that we are each able to distinguish between good and bad, between blessing and curse, and to choose the blessing. This is the meaning of the first of the morning blessings, ““... הַנוֹתֵן לַשֶׂכְוִי בִינָה לְהַבְחִין .../… Who gives the heart understanding to distinguish …” We find this concept in the Midrash on, ““... וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים .../… and you shall choose life …” God not only places the choices before us. He also teaches us to choose life. Often, we feel that we are the victims of circumstance. Being a victim implies powerlessness. Click here to see the entire ma'amar.

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