The privilege and good fortune of a full life on earth carries with it countless inescapable lessons of humility along the way. Whether it’s the result of saying, “Watch this!” as a child or being let go from a job you’ve held for years, humans don’t have to learn to be humble. It’s forced on us.
Resentment, just as Brené Brown suggests, keeps us from joyful connections with our fellow human beings. Like Parshat Ki Tavo teaches, mitzvot are the focus of Torah, but it’s the joy and gladness of Judaism that keep us full-hearted.
Accidents, by nature, aren’t choices. However, we do have the choice in how we react to something we’ve overlooked. Parshat Ki Teitzei reminds us that sometimes it can be better to let it go, to embrace the happy unintentionally and make a mistake that might just lift someone else up.
It’s easy to go on consequence overload when you’re in an emotional moment. The Torah is itself, however, a grounding resource. Reading these same texts year after year is what grounds us emotionally and spiritually, and it reminds us, especially in this week’s portion, that only when we’re in that grounded space can we act justly.
The work will never be done, there will always be another load of laundry, another medical conundrum, or societal problem, but the way through it is to plan each and every day to finish that day’s portion so we can rest up and start again tomorrow.
If the Torah is concerned that we’ll stray from our worship of God to worshiping the natural world, why were these celestial bodies and earthly wonders even created? In other words, if I can’t keep my hands out of the bag of Cheetos, why keep them in the house?