24.09.2011 25.Elul, 5771 Welt erschaffen
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19)
What does it mean to choose life? Is life then ours to choose? The Torah should have written to “choose good,” which I would understand because good seems within my control. But life and death? Go tell the children in a cancer ward to choose life! How many young people receive harsh decrees from heaven? So what does it mean to “choose life”? A person can choose life! As Sigmund Freud taught, built into the human psyche is not only a passion for life, but also a passion for death, not only a will to create, but also a will to destroy – and sometimes even to self-destruct.
The first thing one must do is to avoid the lure of death. Despite the awareness of danger in certain lifestyles – indiscriminate sex, excessive alcohol, drugs etc – many pursue thrills until the last chill, when it’s too late. Good and evil are abstractions; a genius in the art of rationalization only requires one hour to totally confuse himself and others about their moral foundations. But life and death are not abstractions….