Jewish Journal

A Moment in Time: All is Foreseen, yet Free Will is Given

Dear all,
You know the feeling of cracking open a fortune cookie to find the perfect message?  Sometimes the result is a sigh of relief, as we can sit back and let the future unfold.  The onus of responsibility is lifted.
There is saying from our Mishna: “All is foreseen, yet free will is given” (Pirkei Avot 3:19).  While this certainly presents a paradox, it also reveals an important truth: we can’t just wait for stuff to happen. We were created with free will, and we therefore have the privilege (and obligation) to use our minds!
Sure, we might get a lucky break once in a while.  But you can only win the lottery if you buy a ticket.  And you can only harness the future – if you take a moment in time to set your mind to it.
With love and shalom!
Rabbi Zach Shapiro

Rabbi Zach Shapiro

A change in perspective can shift the focus of our day – and even our lives.  We have an opportunity to harness “a moment in time,” allowing our souls to be both grounded and lifted.  This blog shows how the simplest of daily experiences can become the most meaningful of life’s blessings.  All it takes is a moment in time.
Rabbi Zach Shapiro is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Akiba of Culver City, a Reform Jewish Congregation in California.  He earned his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College in 1992, and his M.A.H.L. from HUC-JIR in 1996.  He was ordained from HUC-JIR – Cincinnati, in 1997.  He was appointed to the HUC-JIR Board of Governors in 2018.