Because I Chose To Be

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5 Responses

  1. Elie Avitan says:

    Mr. Rosenblum,

    I have been following your career closely ever since Chezky brought me to your home from Yeshiva for a Shabbos, now 8 years ago. I haven’t always agreed (in fact I generally don’t) and I have never commented, but this post is probably the best thing you have written IMO. Our only hope as human beings to differentiate ourselves from all other living things is by our choices. Even if scientifically we were to know that our choices are all products of previous causes, we still must cling to our perception of free choice and demand responsibility as if we are totally free to choose. If not, there is literally no possibility of a structured world and certainly no possibility of Avodas Hashem. Ultimately, many ideologies fight for our attention and adherence. Not choosing is a choice in and of itself, just like not choosing to be happy is actually choosing to be unhappy.

    Thank you for your commitment to the klal and your insights.

  2. mycroft says:

    The general message of Jonathan Rosenblum is crucial and in his usual masterful style is cogently argued.

    “though much centered on why this particular young man felt as soon as he landed at Kennedy Airport at 18 that he would never return to live in his native Israel”

    An Israeli 18 year old has a military obligation-I assume he was not fulfilling it-thus I assume he was/ or will be violating Israeli law and thus unless government of Israel become controlled by either Chareidim or Joint Arab list would be surprised to see a pardon like Carter did after Vietnam war for draft evaders.

    “There are those who argue that all our apparent choices can be understood in terms of certain neural impulses, and that as our understanding of the brain advances, we will be able to predict how a person will react in every circumstance.”

    That is a straw man-the issue is that our genetic makeup stacks the deck one way or the other-see the studies of identical twins who are adopted by parents of different religions-the adult religiosity of the identical twins tends to be closer to each other
    than to the family who brought them up. Which religion would be based on that in which they were raised in.

  3. mycroft says:

    The general message of Jonathan Rosenblum is crucial and in his usual masterful style is cogently argued.

    “though much centered on why this particular young man felt as soon as he landed at Kennedy Airport at 18 that he would never return to live in his native Israel”

    An Israeli 18 year old has a military obligation-I assume he was not fulfilling it-thus I assume he was/ or will be violating Israeli law and thus unless government of Israel become controlled by either Chareidim or Joint Arab list would be surprised to see a pardon like Carter did after Vietnam war for draft evaders.

    “There are those who argue that all our apparent choices can be understood in terms of certain neural impulses, and that as our understanding of the brain advances, we will be able to predict how a person will react in every circumstance.”

    That is a straw man-the issue is that our genetic makeup stacks the deck one way or the other-see the studies of identical twins who are adopted by parents of different religions-the adult religiosity of the identical twins tends to be closer to each other
    than to the family who brought them up. Which religion would be based on that in which they were raised in.

  4. Brooklyn refugee sheygitz says:

    Does this person who says he never will return to live in his native Israel say the full 18 blessings of the amidah every day? Does he skip some of the harachamans in birkat hamazon?
    Just curious….

  5. Danny Rubin (Baltimore MD.) says:

    May I suggest that the “shidduch market” has many detractors of this message, or is it that hundreds of people are “choosing to be happy” by having IDENTICAL plans,career paths and aspirations?

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