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July 30, 2015

Is Doubt Good for You?

This past week in the daily Talmud study cycle, we find a statement related to vows that gets to the heart of personal dissonance. More than a statement, it's an argument. Rabbi Meir believed that, " A person puts himself in a position of uncertainty," knowing that with every commitment comes a degree of risk that we understand. We invite some degree of uncertainty into our lives. We cannot always reside in unwavering certainty; to move forward and advance in virtually all arenas in life, we need to anticipate that risk will live near us and with us. Rabbi Yosei takes a more conservative position designed to maximize self-protection: "A person does not put himself in a position of uncertainty." No one willingly likes to lose control, thinks Rabbi Yossi, and puts himself or herself into a situation of doubt and ambivalence.

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