> Spirituality > Growing Each Day

Tammuz 19

May 21, 2009 | by

This portion of the Talmud is recited in the introductory prayers of the morning service, in order that a person begin the day with a portion of the Oral Law. Of the hundreds of thousands of passages of the Talmud, why was this one selected?

This passage lists five items that have no prescribed measure. The implication is that other than these five, everything has a limit. With this important concept, we should begin our day.

Some people know no limits. Many behavioral excesses have joined the category of "olics," so that we now have not only alcoholics, but workaholics, foodaholics, chocoholics, sportaholics, worryaholics, etc. Any activity can be over done.

More of a good thing is not necessarily better, as people with obesity, for example, have discovered. Unfortunately, many people who do something to excess are not aware of their error. They believe that they are still acting within the normal range.

As with alcoholics, people who are affected by any excessive behavior are generally unable to set limits for themselves. Outsiders must make objective observations to recognize if reasonable limits have been exceeded. We would be wise to seek the appraisal of competent and interested people to help us determine whether we are functioning within the range of accepted norms.

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