The Gates of Judgment Open

As we mature and gain new information, how likely are we to cultivate acumen and to shift our thinking as we grow? Today, we prioritize our capacity to be a critical thinker — to see various perspectives and not to jump to conclusions, as we weigh all evidence and consider realities and perceptions beyond our own.

My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding — and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as if for buried treasure — then you will understand the awe of God — and thus, find knowledge of God.
-Proverbs 2: 1-5

Having good judgment allows us to gain confidence — to be more sure of ourselves, and to become better visionaries. We are not to be reduced to mere algorithms or patterns of behavior. Our world does not derive meaning, based on the next thing we do, rather we are to invest in discernment for ourselves and for what can be termed, the longer game in more ineffable ways

How often are we help in the grip of the reality of another? The opinions we hold, the ideas we share — how often are they recycled from somewhere else — and we find ourselves parroting words that have come before us? How much do we have an independent voice, and how often can we think critically, without restriction — not fearing reprisal or blow back?

Today, step away from all media that desires your eyes and ears. Take up chess. Leave your phone at home. As you plan your teshuvah-making for the High Holydays, consider your agenda — why are you connected to the people in your circle, and why are you are desirous of their approval? Take a moment to consider the most vexing current issue in your life — what are you going to do about it? Where do you see yourself a year from now? How do you get there? What strategies are you employing to reach your goals, and how do you get in your own way?