CHOOSE LIFE!

Last week, druing services iw as struck by the last few lines of Parshat Nitzavim, D’varim 30:19-20. 19. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live;
20. That you may love the Lord your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave to him; for he is your life, and the length of your days; that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Mainly, i was struck by the notion of choosing life. Choose to live, choose the good. Not always an easy choice to make. Sometimes, many times, it is easier to choose the easy way out, to choose comfort, but comfort is not necessarily choosing life- choosing life, chooosing to live is hard, choosing life is not always our choice, perhaps, life chooses us. I don’t think I have control over everything that happens in my life-sometimes i think life chooses me- chooses where I go, chooses what I will do. And then, I choose it back, together we make the journey, together we choose. God and I work together, and that is when I choose life.

And then, I arrive at the last line of psalm 27 which we say for the entire month of Elul. “Mine is the faith that I surely shall see, the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. HOPE IN THE LORD and BE STRONG. Take COURAGE, HOPE IN THE LORD.”

And it all begins to come together, for in the land of the living, we must CHOOSE LIFE. and to choose life, we must HOPE IN THE LORD.

And as the new year begins, i want to choose life. I want to choose to hope in the Lord and I want the Lord to hope in me. ANd so I pray that this year, I choose life and that life chooses me. That somehow, we come together, that we all choose life and live that life to the fullest.

This year, I want to choose to live, to find myself in the beauty and wonder of Jerusalem. This year, I want to LIVE and LOVE life. I choose life, I choose blessings, I choose love. This year I ask for the strength to be me. I choose to breathe in the sweet smells of life, the joy of Jerusalem, being in the place my ancestors were. I choose to live in their presence, with their strength- I choose to embrace what comes to me- what is my life. ANd so, I stand here, screaming on the inside, trying to burst thru and accept the challenge-the challenge to choose life- whatever that life might be, I am ready.

This year, my Kavanah is on bettering myself, choosing to live my life- and I pray for the strength and ability to do just that. I pray to enjoy myself, enjyo life. I pray to find the Love that lifts me up, that opens my eyes to life. I pray to find the compansionship that makes me smile, dance and live.

But, the question remains- how do we choose life? Do we choose life by living out our dreams recklessly? Do we choose life by listening to our heart, our head, both? And how do we know if we chose the life that God wants? that we want? When do they match? So, what life do I choose? What life do you choose?

Perhaps choosing life is to choose what makes us happy, what makes me feel complete. perhaps it is living in harmony with God’s wants laws and my desires- perhaps i’ll never know, perhaps we are not supposed to know-afterall.

I may choose life, but the eternal judge and ruler might not choose that for me! and I enter into this year choosing happiness, health and Love. Hoping that this is what choosing life is all about, Praying that after 24 years, I get it right. That I am finally able to choose life and live that life. Or, at the very least, that I end up one step closer to choosing life.

It is so appropriate that this is my struggle this year, that this is my goal. That here I am in Eretz Yisrael, the land of the one who wrestles with God- and that is what I am doing- wrestling with God’s words, wrestling with these feelings- all the while trying to choose life in the land of the living. Something must be right. Somewhere, the choice must be made, and I pray that the Choice is LIFE.

It is the prayer of my heart that each of you is able to choose life- choose to live, be strong, have courage and hope in God that the life you choose brings you happiness, health, love and light. Mostly, that the Life you choose, is good to you!

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