Sometimes I hear voices — little voices. I could be at the verge of making a critical remark to a friend and a voice in my head tells me “Maybe you’re rushing to judgement. It’s possible his intentions were different.” Those voices, expressions of a healthy conscience, are gems.
Lot, the nephew and brother-in-law of Abraham, traveled with Abraham and Sarah and when the livestock of both camps increased to the point that their shepherds could not graze their herds in the same area, Abraham and Lot decided to part. In search of a new home “Lot looked up and saw the entire plain of Jordan fully watered, before G-d destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah…” (Gen. 13:10) and he chose to settle in Sodom. His focus was set on the lush landscape, but he did not consider its tragic end. Sodom, with its legendary cruelty and immorality, should not have been Lot’s first choice — more would be expected of one who lived so close to Abraham and Sarah. But Lot silenced the little voice that said, “Don’t go to live with wicked people. They are steeped in evil, and eventually you’ll be hurt by their downfall.” (Taam V’Daas, Rabbi Moshe Sternbach).
There are voices we hear, soft mental messages from our conscience, that visit us as we make choices. We’re not prophets, but we are often granted a glimpse of the future from our past experience and intuitive perception. When our heart has chosen one path, it’s often challenging to even hear the voices of our healthy conscience, but those voices are gems. Let’s turn up the volume; they are G-d’s way of guiding us to choose life.
Rabbi Mordechai Dixler
Program Director, Project Genesis – Torah.org