Pirkei Avot, Day 8

There is so much to unpack in this one little passage so let’s focus on the messages we all may need to hear right now.

Firstly, what is meant by “everything is foreseen?” On a simple spiritual level, you may think of the notion that God has everything planned out for us, which more people that not disagree with. After all, what would be the purpose of having free will if everything is already planned out for us? Now, while many of our sages do believe in a divine plan, there are others that don’t. To them, free will is exclusive of a Divine plan. But maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Perhaps the word foreseen is referring to us as the Forseers, that by having free will, by being in charge of our own choices, deep down we foresee how those choices may play out. Sometimes the foreseeing is conscious and sometimes it lays beneath it. If we had time to pause before every choice we made, giving ourselves time to reflect and process, we may give ourselves the time necessary to foresee how each choice would play out. I’m not talking about how it would play out on a physical level. What I’m talking about is what each choice would do for our soul.

And perhaps that is why this passage continues to tell us that everything depends on unabounded kindness.

Choices are hard. Trust me, I know, especially right now. But if each choice rested on kindness, we could possibly reach the place we so desperately want to attain. Don’t mistake kindness for nice. Kindness is about generosity and consideration. It’s not about being in false agreement. Kindness is just as much a gift to ourselves as it is for the person we offer it too. Kindness evokes peace, balance, and calm.

Remember to be kind. Remember that you are always at choice. Choose to be kind to yourself. Choose to be kind to others. The world depends on it.

I love you!

Rabbi Gabi