I had lunch this week with two extraordinary people. One had difficulty choosing from the menu and asked the waiter for his recommendation. I didn’t understand why my companion believed that this stranger could possibly know what would suit his customer’s palate. The question was not about the chef’s specialties. It was clear that it was difficult for my friend to choose and that he wanted the waiter to make the choice. The waiter, clearly uncomfortable, would only say, “they’re all good.” My dinner companion had to make his own decision. Horrors! Why would someone, one of the brightest people I have ever met, allow someone else to decide what he wants to eat?
Many people are “Decision Challenged” and have difficulty making even the simplest choices. Far too many people live their spiritual lives without ever deciding that that is what they have chosen. They do what they are supposed to do, and refrain from what they are not supposed to do.
Torah insists that we become choosers. God’s greatest gift to a human being is Free Choice, and in order to learn, pray, and serve God as we should, we must choose. Our greatest spiritual quest is to become Choosers who have committed themselves to independently master all their potential.
The Foundation Stone was established to provide the necessary information for people to choose a life of attachment to God, and the optimal path for them to grow into real and powerful choosers. What Is The Reason is an opportunity to ask and learn , and to find out the “whys” about any law or custom. Forms of Prayer is a forum for people to choose the best possible path of prayer for any situation and to improve their relationship with God. The Midot Hayom – From Redemption of Revelation – guide us in developing the internal qualities necessary to decide what we want from our lives. HaRav Nachman Cohen, one of the world’s great choosers, guides us in understanding the choice and design of the weekly Torah Portion in his A Time For All Things. Rabbi Irwin Katsof’s Words Can Heal is to teach us how to carefully choose our words. Table Talk is designed to help us consciously decide that our Shabbat Table should be a place and time of enhanced conversation. Bentzion Meltzer’s Stories of the Baal Shem Tov andKeter Shem Tov offer precious insights into the world of the Baal Shem Tov who chose a groundbreaking path in his service of God. Rabbi Yaakov Shlomo Weinberg’s Torah Connection shares the holy conversations of the Beit Midrash so we can choose to study Torah at an advanced level.
This week’s Haftarah guides us in choosing a Cohen who will help us as we make our first offering in the Third Temple. The Music of Halacha – Three Levels of Separation: Part One – reinforces the awareness necessary to become Masters of Choice.
Thank you for choosing to study and grow along with us. I hope all our decisions will be this delicious.
Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg