The Hebrew text that describes the final encampment of the Jewish people before the Sinaitic revelation says “Vayichan” (he camped) in the singular, implying that the people were “of one mind and one heart” as Rashi explains. On the other hand, when Egypt’s 600 chariots are baring down against the Jews the text also notes their unity “and behold, Egypt was chasing them”-not the Egyptians, but Egypt. How do we distinguish between these two forms of unity? The Talmud teaches that evil unites “with one heart, like one man”, i.e.: the emotions come before the intellect, the exact opposite of the approach of the righteous.
How many poor decisions have been made under the grip of powerful emotions? How many opportunities lost and relationships destroyed? Presumably, the Egyptians regretted their decision post-decimation. What can be done to avoid “being drawn after our hearts and eyes” as the Chumash warns us?
1. Don’t make decisions during emotionally charged moments
2. Have a pre-arranged plan that you implement to pull yourself out of that emotional space
3. Ask yourself what the root cause of the feeling is (usually fear or ego)
4. Keep a journal and actively work on keeping your intellect in the driver’s seat