Posted by: R Jonathan Gewirtz | October 10, 2018

Berry Good Ideas

Poison Berries – An Observant Jew Moment of Meditation

I passed a tree this morning which has a number of bright red berries in various stages of ripening. Though they look nice, I believe they are poisonous. I wondered: They look so good, and berries are for eating. Why should they be poisonous?

Poison-Holly

G-d’s answer (plugged into my brain): The message is that just because something looks good in my opinion doesn’t mean it really is good. If I ate them because I thought they were appealing without asking an expert if they were poisonous, I’d end up sick or worse.

That’s why we’re supposed to learn from our elders, rabbis, teachers, and from G-d, by way of the Torah, so we know when to stop and pick the berries, and when to walk on by.

Parting thought: The berries may be good – for animals. Just because something exists, doesn’t mean it’s for me.

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