Snap Indecision

Kli Yakar Exodus: Mishpatim

Snap Indecision

“An executive is a man who can make quick decisions and is sometimes right.”

Elbert Hubbard

Instant communications often demand instant decisions. Life is often moving so quickly that the pressure to make decisions on the spot can be overwhelming. Time is short and we don’t always have the luxury to dither as to what choice to make. Those that deliberate are often at a disadvantage over those blessed with the ability to make snap decisions.

The Kli Yakar (on Exodus 21:1), who himself was the head of the Rabbinic Court in the great city of Prague, has a very different view of quick decisions, especially in judicial matters. He learns from the verse (Isaiah 56:1) “keep (‘shimru’) justice.” The Kli Yakar attributes this verb as a command to let the case “settle” much as the dregs (‘shimurim’) of wine will settle to the bottom of the bottle. By giving time for matters to settle, one reaches clarity, very much as the dregs of wine settling to the bottom of the bottle gives one clear liquid.

May we be blessed with the ability to make correct decisions in the time we have.

Shabbat Shalom,



To Captain Egbert and Anna Pijfers on their decision and ability to finally visit Israel and for a fantastic dinner. Shalom!

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