GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
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What’s With All These Laws?

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by Jacobson, Rabbi YY

“Why does Judaism prohibit me from doing whatever I want? people often ask… Why are there so many laws, instructions, and rituals in Judaism that govern every aspect of one’s life, from the way we eat to the way we marry?

 

…Among the great technological achievements of the last half-century is the development of the ‘laser beam.’

 

Briefly: The nature of light is such that it scatters as it moves away from its source, thereby lessening its intensity and effect. The laser overcomes this limitation by concentrating its energy in a straight line so that it retains its potency…

 

A laser beam is narrowly confined so that the light does not spread to the sides. It is thus completely focused in one direction only, maintaining its strength even at great distances from its source…

 

… As the example of the laser beam demonstrates, it is precisely the ‘limitations’ imposed on a force that extend and amplify its potentials and enable its optimal realization.

 

A life without parameters is a life that quickly dissipates … When we allow ourselves the freedom to go in every direction when there are no boundaries or limitations and we are free to do everything and anything – our light scatters all over the place and we never realize our ultimate power and potential. Our energies are squandered, our richness is compromised…

 

Conversely, when we ‘restrict’ the light, and do not allow it to flow anywhere and everywhere… we cultivate our power, we become the most powerful people we can become…”