John Tierney, The New York Times' science columnist, recently wrote an article about decision fatigue: the idea that our ability to make a decision gets degraded from making hundreds of small decisions throughout the day. The more we choose, the less able we are to make more choices.
The Torah (always ahead of its time) teaches us in this week's portion that there are only two choices we need consider: blessing and curse. Blessings will abound if you follow the commandments and curses if you do not- the obvious decision, in any case, is to follow the commandments. The portion then provides lists of commandments about where to worship, how to worship, what to eat, how to mourn, and how to celebrate the major festivals.
As Reform Jews we often struggle with the concept of mitzvot and what it means to be commanded. And yet we are very aware that we are all Jews by choice -- we define our Jewish identity by the choices we make every day.
A mixture of science and Torah can teach us how we can choose blessing in our own lives
I delivered a sermon about this at Temple Ahavat Shalom on Friday, August 26, for parshat Re'eh. Click here to download a PDF. Enjoy.