Saturday, August 22, 2009

Left or Right

Doing research today on a post for The Edible Torah on and found this interesting verse:
Deuteronomy 28:14 "And do not deviate to the right or to the left from any of the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day..."
In context it seems to be a reminder not to worship other gods (sidenote: another place that seems to confirm that there are other gods, even if they are not as mighty as HaShem), but tonight it reminded me of a saying from President Eisenhower:
"The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters."
Eisenhower was, obviously, talking about US politics, but I find the teaching applicable to many areas. In medicine, for example, overly conservative treatments can be just as lethal as overly radical ones; in relationships, being too emotional can be as harmful as showing no emotion at all.

In the face of the struggle between fanaticism and secularism, this seems to be an injunction not to be too stringent in following the commandments as much as to avoid being too lax.

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