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by Joel Rich

But I’m no longer sure that Orthodoxy is an all-or-nothing life choice. Observance is a continuum on which we each locate ourselves. Every one of us struggles to find a livable balance between personal freedom and submission to authority, commitment to self and commitment to other, even if that Other is creator of the universe or a long-held tradition. “In the end,” as my mother-in-law says, “everyone writes their own Shulchan Aruch.”

Me- I think that’s called Sheilaism?

On someone’s suggestion not to vote and let HKB”H decide:
that’s probably also what the guy who died thought when he waited for HKB”H to save him when he refused to get into the lifeboat or helicopter. HKB”H gave us a brain, a torah and free will – not voting is also a decision. Life (and halacha) is often about choosing the better of two choices each of which are somewhat deficient.

Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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