Let My People Know

"We either make decisions analytically or through a synthesis"


The statement 'na'ase venishma' – "we will do and we will hear" -can be interpreted on various levels.

The first meaning, of course, is willingness. 

I accept the yoke of Kingship without hesitation.

I accept it consummately.

This is what 'na'ase,' "we will do," means. 

The second statement, 'nishma', "we will hear," means that after having accepted the Law in general, I am now ready to hear it presented point by point.

This dual statement basically corresponds to the two types of behavior we typically engage in when we have a decision to make. 

We either make decisions analytically or through a synthesis. 

In an analytical decision we examine the features of a situation, and by combining them, we gradually develop a picture of a complex reality whose final shape will influence the decision we make.

On the other hand, we can accept a fundamental principle right away. 

Here, we are not called upon to act immediately but rather to agree to a principle and then see which obligations derive from it. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

In The Seven Lights, p.218, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz