Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Orthodox

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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Dear Gutman,

I am 25 and I live in Amsterdam.

I was not raised in an orthodox way of Judaism. We were traditional in some sense: we didn't and still don't eat certain things, and before my father died we attended synagogue during the high holidays.

My father was very against 'fanatics' and ultra-orthodox Judaism, but he was very Jewish; a man of the people of Israel. When I said to him that I wanted to become more orthodox, he was very afraid that it would be fatal to my mental health. Once I asked him: Dad, what would you say to the Lubavitcher Rebbe if you could meet him? He said: Leave my people alone! 

He was always there for other people and for me. That is one of the most important things in life, I think.  It's hard to explain in what way he was and still is one of my most important sources of inspiration and love.

The only way for me to become more orthodox is when I can reconcile it with my father's love and wisdom, that I think, was Jewish at its very core. My mother and sister are also very against ultra-orthodox Judaism so it is difficult for them and for me, if I start becoming more orthodox.

Regards, Daniel

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Gutman replies…   

Dear Daniel,

     Really, your solution seems pretty simple. Bring your father’s love with you, and begin to do mitzvahs with joy.

     But don’t call it being, “orthodox.” That term was given to Torah observant Jews by the “modern” Jews when they stopped doing mitzvahs and wanted to justify their revisions. They call us “orthodox” while they call themselves “enlightened” or “progressive.” “Orthodox” can be a scary word to those who are not aware of what Torah observance really is.

     If your mother and sister see you becoming happier with life and filled with light, they are going to respect what you are doing. If they see you becoming dark, strict, hard to please, and such, they are rightfully going to blame your new spiritual practice.

     Try to see what happens when you do a mitzvah. What changes in you and in the world when you do it? This will bring light to you, and your family will appreciate that light. If doing a mitzvah did not make you happy, then you did not do it right. If pleasing the One Who creates us (by doing what He told us to do) did not bring joy, then you do not understand the nature of a mitzvah. The mitzvahs were given to us to elevate our spiritual awareness, to make us holy.

     You must look for these things when you do a mitzvah or you will not become aware of them. The blessing we say when we do a mitzvah is “…Who has made us holy with His commandments.” When we fulfill His commandments, we become holy. Certainly this should bring joy.

    DO NOT try to force them to follow you. Let them see your new smile and they will want to join you. If indeed, you are doing what G-d wants you to do, then you will become even more loving.

Be well,
Gutman

1 comments:

Allan Serour said...

we must always remmenber the hillel principle that the torah is to improve social relations,so before logical considerations remmenber this.
I can say by experience that beeing
shomer halachot in cases that this cause social problems is not what god whants,
Put in firt plane love of people
in any case is adequate to discriminate people,ortodox or liberal
And dont be afraid of god just regonize that he knows better them you what is god for you and submit your will to him!

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