web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



What Kind of Life Shall We Choose?

Dvar Torah for Nitzavim Vayelech.
choose life

Rabbi Akiva attached himself to Bar Kochba. He was not satisfied living under the rule of a despotic and anti-Semitic Roman government. He dreamed of autonomy and safety. The idea was to rise up and rebel militarily. With weapons and men at arms. Rabbi Akiva did not rely on his piety or Torah study to protect him or the people. Nor did he assume that his Torah study would be sufficient to restore the land into Jewish hands. Rabbi Akiva supported a physical army in addition to the merits of Torah and Mitzvos.

Choose life means choose to live a life engaged in the world all the while meticulously adhering to G-D’s word and living a life of Torah, Mitzvos and Kiddush Hashem. Indeed, this is a profound statement worthy of placement in the climactic peak of this speech of Moses. It is not just life, it is our way of life.

Speaking to his congregation following the Woodstock Festival in 1969, Rabbi Lamm talked about Hippie culture as compared to Judaism. Hippies believed that life was an opportunity to “live it up.” Love, music, and drugs were pathways to nirvana in their worldview.

To this, Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva respond and say we choose life with work. To live means to earn a livelihood. To live means to be prepared for life’s difficult moments. The truly virtuous life is not the life of shortcuts and temporarily highs. When we choose life we are choosing to live a life of challenges. We meet those challenges with Torah principles along with secular training. When we are able to navigate the difficult moments in our lives, when we can grow from trying times, when we use our gifts and talents to transcend the material world, then we are truly choosing life.

Hippies are passé. Woodstock a distant memory. But contemporary society has adopted so much of that worldview into modern thinking. Freedom and love are enough to give meaning to life and they are enough to truly live. Our response is that to truly find freedom and love we must work to get there. That is how we choose life. – Good Shabbos.

Visit Fink or Swim.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, J.D. is the rabbi at the famous Pacific Jewish Center | The Shul on the Beach in Venice CA. He blogs at finkorswim.com. Connect with Rabbi Fink on Facebook and Twitter.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What Kind of Life Shall We Choose?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The face of terror is the same in Ottawa as it is in Jerusalem,says Lieberman.
Lieberman: Terror in Jerusalem and Ottawa Part of ‘Global Epidemic’
Latest Blogs Stories
Car in Light Rail Runover

The headlines refused to scream “ARAB TERROR ATTACK;” instead the phrase “Suspected Terror Attack.”

"Shiloh"

I’ve heard many times I write what others think, making them extremely happy; that’s why I continue.

Statue of King David

Though secular, Hitman’s CV includes writing music for, recording, and popularizing religious songs.

256px-Israel-Palestine_flags.svg

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Has the Jewish world adapted to the times? Hear the answer with Doug and his guest, Rabbi Berel Wein.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Kids bring in the light and let out the darkness through breathing exercises; it changes people.

If I make a million dollars in 2 weeks, how can I observe something like this and sit by quietly?”

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

How long will it take for Israel and the Jewish World to admit that we are in very serious danger?

How do changes in technology affect the human life and our interactions with each other?

Palestinians (and Jordanians) often use the term “provocation” regarding Israeli action in Jerusalem

The zealots who engineered the ban have been publicly disgraced.

I am sick and tired of this one way street boycott! Time to boycott all products developed or invented in the Palestinian controlled areas! Let’s start with……umm….

Such an incredible miracle to have Israel, it’s crazy that every Jew isn’t clamoring to live here!

Driving is cultural. I come from a place with incredibly polite and safe drivers, unlike Israel.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Fink
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

People act not because they think it’s right; they do what they do because it’s what they want to do

Dusk in the early morning hours seen from Mt Meron, Northern Israel. March 26, 2014.

What do we do when we want to be mad at God but we also want God to make it all better? Indeed, what do we do?

Rambam would also allow charity from a mumar as long as the person maintains basic belief in God and Judaism.

There is no song that tells the story of freedom like Shir HaShirim.

It is unfair to judge a 52 year old man with the glasses of a person who lives in a different world.

Adegbile was not making a moral statement by representing a man convicted of killing a cop.

Women learning Torah is becoming increasingly permissive, but women wearing tefillin is becoming increasingly stringent.

When the “offensive” statements in our Talmud were stated, no one thought they were offensive.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fink-or-swim/what-kind-of-life-shall-we-choose/2013/08/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: