Choices are free; it is the consequences that we pay for dearly. Or, more dearly, that pay us.
Most things in life are beyond conventional choice. We cannot choose not to breathe and remain living. We cannot choose to cease eating and expect to grow older. Like the color of our eyes, our genes, families, minds, natures, abilities, are mostly ingrained in us and beyond our will to change. True free choice is what we choose to do with these parts that make us who we are and how we choose to live with the elements at our disposal. We cannot choose not to breathe, but we can choose what to do when we do breathe. We cannot choose to cease eating, but we very well can choose what to eat and how to eat it. These are the most freeing choices of all.
Join Rabbi Jacobson for this important pre-Rosh Hashana talk and discover new vistas of your soul, that when tapped, go beyond the usual cause and effect forces of life. Learn how your mind and mindset have the strength to change the course of your future.Read More
The secret to winning your battles lies not in your fighting skills and strategies, but in your attitude and mindset even before you engage in battle.Read More
How much of your life reflects your own exclusive personality, and how much of it is living up to other people’s expectations and opinions?Read More
In breaking the tablets, Moses was acting on his own, contrary to his divine mission to deliver G-d’s Torah to the world. In breaking the tablets, Moses, who could not presume that G-d was to replace the first tablets with a second pair, was eradicating his very being, his very raison d’etre, for the sake of his people.Read More
The ultimate criterion of “free choice” is not “Is it determined?” but “What determines it?” Every choice is determined by something, be it a rational motive or an intuitive flash of no traceable origin. True choice is when one’s course of action is determined by, and only by, the very quintessence of self.Read More
“To truly experience teshuvah,” concluded Rabbi Schneur Zalman, “is to experience the same degree of regret over one’s past actions as was experienced by the peasant from Shklov as the raging river swept him away.”Read More
How much control do we really have over our actions? So can man be held accountable for his behavior? Is the good we do truly to our credit? Is the evil our fault? Isn’t it all a matter of genes and environment? A discussion of choice vs determinism.Read More
Most people would assume that religion is quite conformist, because it has a set of laws—it’s not moral relativism. That is flawed thinking, based on untrue assumptions about the nature of the self and the nature of G-d. Learn why in this frank discussion with Rabbi Simon Jacobson.Read More
Man does not intrinsically possess the capacity to freely determine his actions; rather, freedom of choice has been granted to man by an omnipotent G-d. “If G-d knows what I’m going to do, how could I have chosen?” is more a difficulty of our time-contexted perception than a true logical paradox.Read More
Over two centuries ago Rabbi Schneur Zalman presented us with an invaluable model of life that can be appreciated now more than ever. Freud and his colleagues may be the fathers of psychology today. But the Alter Rebbe is the true father of the psychology of tomorrow.Read More