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Is there really Free Choice if G-d tells us what to do?

by Rabbi Tzvi Shapiro


Library » Philosophy » Free Choice | Subscribe | What is RSS?


G-d tells us what to do, but He doesn’t compel us to do it.

And that is the ultimate expression of free choice.

The ability to defy the will of our Creator is the very nucleus of free choice. It means we are free to go against our own programming, and that’s called free. That is comparable to the sun deciding not to rise one morning.

The sun has no free choice, and the sun is never praised for rising, because that is what it does. But we do have free choice, and there is no telling what we will do. So when we follow our Creator it is a result of our own choice. It is our own accomplishment.

That sure is praiseworthy.

And that is why G-d gave us this risky gift.


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It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.