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Friday, 21 November 2014

Would you like the red pill or the blue pill?

Daf Yomi Yevamos 48

In a classic scene in The Matrix, Morpheus hands Neo two pills, one blue, one red, and says to him, “After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends.   You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland.  And I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.  Remember, all I'm offering is the truth, nothing more.”

The Beraisa states: Rabbi Hanania the son of Chief Rabbi Gamliel taught:  Why are converts nowadays afflicted with hardship?  Since they failed to observe the seven noahide laws prior to their conversion.   Others say: Because they took their time and did not convert straight away, as soon as they realized the truth, as Boaz said to Ruth, “May G-d pay your reward and may your compensation be complete from Hashem, G-d of Israel, for the fact that you came quickly to shelter [under His wings].”

If converts are held to task for not choosing to observe the mitzvos sooner, then how much more so people who were born Jewish!   Once you know the truth, you can’t run away.   Every moment that one fails to serve the Almighty is a missed opportunity!

The problem is that most of us prefer to live our lives chewing on the blue pill.  Ignorance is bliss.  The less you know, the less duty-bound you feel.  Most people will go through life keeping far away from the red pill for fear of what knowledge entails with respect to lifestyle choices.

But deep down, if you know that there’s a world outside the ‘matrix,’ you’ve already swallowed the red pill.   When ‘you wake up in your bed’ each morning, you can ‘believe whatever you want to believe,’ but when you lie in bed at night, the little voice inside your head will not allow you to be dishonest with yourself.  The only way to quash the little voice will be to swallow another blue pill.  And another.  Until you are so dependent upon the blue pills that you’ve become addicted to drowning out the little voice.

It’s time to break the dependency.  It’s time to make a bracha (blessing) over that red pill and savour it!  Every moment you hesitate is a missed opportunity.  Don’t be afraid of what’s down the rabbit hole.  The truth may be challenging and scary but ultimately it’s the most fulfilling and rewarding way to live!

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