MaNishma with Rabbi Arnold Goodman

Parshat Ki Teitzei
Hindsight is 20/20

By Rabbi Arnold Goodman Senior Rabbinic Scholar

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost

Life is a challenge of an endless series of crossroads, and the decisions made impact upon the quality and harmony of our lives. The high school senior has acceptances to two wonderful universities; the professional who has two amazing offers; the young man or woman choosing between two promising dates; and the list is seemingly endless. As often as not after we have made our choice, we tend to refocus on our decision, frequently bemoaning the road not taken.

The High Holidays are the time of the year our tradition poses the challenge to review our lives, to celebrate accomplishments, to confront failures, but also to reflect upon our many decisions and their consequences.

Hopefully as we celebrate our successes, we will take stock of the consequences of the roads not taken. We have had a strained relationship with a friend, a colleague or a loved one, and resisted making that phone call that could have cleared the air; we have made a promise that we have failed to honor; we are engaged in idle gossip that inadvertently had negative consequences upon another, and the list is seemingly endless. The refusal to take the initiative is choosing the path upon which we will trod.

During the coming year may we blessed with the peace of mind and with few regrets about roads not taken.

From the holy city of Jerusalem, my best wishes for a Shanah Tovah U'metukah, a good and sweet year.