Collaboration Conference

Empowering choices


Did we really have a choice at Sinai, when we said “na’aseh v’nishma” before accepting the Torah? The text reads that a huge mountain was held over our heads — that doesn’t sound like a choice at all! However the choice was not only ours, but also that of the other nations which chose not to accept the gift of Torah.

Elisheva Kaminetsky, in discussing “empowering choices,” said the driving question is this: what is our relationship to Torah, and how much choice is there in it? What can we learn as we transmit the mesorah?

The creation of new things is based on choice: whom we choose to marry, whether we choose to create or to destroy. We make hundreds of choices every day — a good example is when the nutritionist asks you to write down a log of everything you’ve eaten in a week. It’s overwhelming!

The most important choice we can make is about our attitude. Consider the imprisoned person in the concentration camp who chooses to give his last piece of bread to another. No one can take away a person’s freedom to choose howhe will react to a situation.    —CW