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Iyar 5

I have placed before you life and death, blessing and curse, and you should choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Some people who commit improper acts defend themselves by insisting that the temptation was too intense to resist. They are wrong.

A law of human behavior states that when given two options, people can choose only that which they perceive as being the lesser distress. However, individual choice decides which distress is greater and which is lesser. For example, when a hungry baby cries in the middle of the night, the parents will get up. They naturally choose to forego the greater distress - staying in bed and listening to their baby - for the lesser - getting up and feeding the baby. Extreme cases come from martyrs who choose death rather than violate principles which are sacred to them. Here, death hurts less than compromised life.

People can evaluate for themselves what is good and what is evil. Everyone is responsible for his or her own evaluations, and so submitting to the temptation to do a forbidden or improper act indicates failure to evaluate properly.

Today I shall...

program myself with correct evaluations of what is right and wrong so that I may make the correct choices.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

May 21, 2009

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