Sunday, March 30, 2008

Choices

You'll all be happy to know that I'm writing this at 11:10 tonight. The earlier it is, the less snarky I am, which translates into savings for the whole family! A recent comment from a friendly lion asked me to expound a bit on free choice and all the wonderful shtuff that goes along with it. At the J. Immanuel Shochet speech I attended a few weeks ago someone asked him the famous question of free choice and G-d's knowledge. They said, "Do I have free choice?" Immanuel answered, "Yes." "Does G-d know what I'm going to do before I do it?" The answer, again, was, "Yes." The questioner looked more confused than a beached (and possibly bleached) whale in Wisconsin, and the Rabbi said that by Hashem there is neither time nor space, plus he knows everything, plus you have free choice. Does this make sense on a purely intellectual level? Perhaps if you've pumped enough LSD into your system it does. But for any regularly thinking person, it makes no sense. It's even worse than Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which gives me goosebumps whenever I lie for literary effect.
As for the choice between idols and G-d, I don't recall the Maamar giving a specific answer, but it seems to me that in our little pea brains we can make a comparison between the two, at least to some degree. After all, they each have advantages and disadvantages. I'll leave it to you, my faithful readers, to work out each one, but what I can tell you is that just because I can be really snotty and self-righteous when I learn and write a Maamar it doesn't mean that I don't behave just like every other ape out there. Heck, I even write run on sentences like a monkey! Of course, my grammar is better than a chimpanzee's, but that's hardly the point.
In other news, two meshulachim (tzedaka collectors from Israel) came to our door today. The first caught me washing the front window, and the second interrupted an afternoon nap. I'm always so embarrassed when these guys come, which fortunately isn't so often, because we live in the beautiful midwest, and few people bother to beg out here. I wish I could just give my $25 (to each-yeah, I'm a nice guy [and only slightly full of myself]) and they'd leave, but instead we have to chat. Truth is, I know that I should be kind and generous, but these people are twenty or thirty years older than me, and they need my money. I guess I feel really embarrassed for them, and that translates into me feeling bad for myself. Plus, it kind of scares me. Will I be a success? And does everybody have to say, "Oh, you're 21? You should get married!"
Enough soul-searching nonsense for tonight. Tomorrow of course you'll get full coverage of tomorrow, and possibly a sneak preview of the next day as well.

6 comments:

cheerio said...

hmm this is good stuff. classic real shliach. a little food for thought, and some popcorn for the road.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. R.S.:
I heartily agree with cheerio's comment - your explanations and insights are appreciated. I also note from your comments that it is time you read one of the greatest plays of all time - "Death of a Salesman." Leo de T.

The Real Shliach said...

Chatasi Ani Mazkir Hayom, but I have actually read, "Death of a Salesman". How's that for honesty in the 21st century?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Real S. Then you will know the true pain behind the "Will I be a success?" question.

le7 said...

Interesting post. Funny. Funny.

The Real Shliach said...

What I can, I do.