Try it! Experimenting is Jewish!

Shabbat Mishpatim

In the middle of receiving numerous and varied mitzvot, commandments, concerning everything from ethics, civics, and even rules about witches – appears one of the most profound statements made by the People of Israel. Here is the full verse:

"Then [Moses] took the account of the covenant and read it in the ears of the people. They said: All that God has spoken, we will do and we will listen!" (Exodus 24:7)

In response to hearing the entirety of all that God demands of us, our ancestors said something like, “We will do it, and then we will hear about it!”

We are a people who, even with all of our focus on learning and education, still understand that “doing” is the thing. Let’s try it. Let’s see how it works. Let’s listen to the responses to what we tried. And then, let’s figure out how we can do better next time.

This attitude of experimentation, trial and error, has served us well for millennia. It allows us to adapt. It allows us to overcome the “my way or the highway” thinking that often makes situations so hard to figure out.

And we know that all of our decisions to act may only work for a little while before we have to revisit, update, and try again.

This is one of the Jewish gifts to the world – let’s experiment, keep our minds open, and see how we can make every day a bit better than the last.

Have a wonderful end to your week and Shabbat Shalom!!