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Sivan 14

God created one force that is equivalent to its opposite (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

There is a principle that God created a universe that is in balance. For every force, there is a counterforce that is equal in magnitude. Because of this delicate balance, people are truly free to choose among alternatives.

Yesterday, we discussed the inhibiting force inherent in all matter, the inertia that acts to maintain the status quo. Opposing it is an inherent force to remain alive and to grow. The operation of these two opposing forces can be seen in the plant world. In thick forests, where the foliage blocks the sunlight, it is fascinating to observe how branches from trees grow towards those spaces which are reached by the sun. The convoluted shapes of the branches are the result of this attempt to reach sunlight. If trees had intelligence, we would say that they realized that they could not receive the sunlight in their fixed places and therefore directed their offshoots to go to places where the sun's rays do reach. Since plants do not have intelligence, some force within them must be seeking to preserve their existence and to allow them to grow.

Because we are living matter, we have two opposing forces. However, unlike plants, we also have the capacities of reason and intelligence and thus can choose with which forces we wish to ally ourselves.

We should be aware that in our "forest" exist obstructions to the spiritual light that is essential for our growth. We should emulate plants in reaching out to those areas where that light is greatest.

Today I shall...

search for sources of spiritual illumination and reach out to them in order to absorb their light.

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

Published: May 21, 2009

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