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According to the dictum of the Torah which they shall teach you... you shall do. You shall not turn away from what they shall instruct you to the right or to the left

Deuteronomy 17:11

Among the great technological achievements of the last half-century is the development of the laser beam. The nature of light is such that it scatters as it moves away from its source, thereby lessening its intensity and effect. The laser overcomes this limitation by concentrating its energy in a straight line so that it retains its potency even at great distance from its point of origin, with the result that its utility (as light, heat, or other use) can be exploited in ways previously unimaginable.

We often hear the argument that a life that is faithful to the precepts of the Torah is greatly constricted and confined. Why limit myself in any way? Why not give free reign to my thoughts, feelings and inclinations, and let them lead me where they may? Why automatically exclude certain pursuits and experiences from the possible paths my life might take?

On the face of it, any code of behavior is limitingsomething that detracts from the great variety of possibilities that life has to offer. In truth, however, the very opposite is the case. A life without parameters is a life that quickly dissipates in the cosmic heterogeneity in which we exist, draining it of all power and impact. As the example of the laser beam demonstrates, it is precisely the limitations imposed on a force that extend and amplify its potential and enable its optimal realization.1

Based on an address delivered by the Rebbe on Chanukah, 5730 (1970)
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Dan March 22, 2013

This is an amazing explanation of the purpose of the Torah! Who else but the Rebbe could come up with such a unique teaching? Reply

Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishna that details the Torah's views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Enjoy insights, audio classes and stories on these fascinating topics.
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