Monday, July 23, 2012

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What Works?

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths


A Friend Asked;

     “How am I to council a friend of mine from college? This friend grew up reform and became orthodox during college through the person she was dating. They were engaged and the day before the marriage he got wet feet and bailed.

     Long story short, she began to lose some of her practices to the point where she might observe Shabbat if she feels like it on the particular weekend and the like. She is in Israel doing her final residency to finish her college degree. Is there anything in particular I can talk to her about that might reinvigorate her interest for yiddishkite?

Gutman’s Answer:

Since she was being “orthodox” only to get married and not for its own sake, it is really like starting over with her. My whole “problem” with the way the Torah is being taught in most places is that the students are not getting any spiritual awareness, and instead are doing it for other reasons, such as to get married, or because you have to, or it is tradition, for a supposed reward in some future world, and on and on.

     Had she found the spiritual joy… the light that Shabbos brings, she would still be treasuring it. So how do we help Jews find this light?

     The best answer for her right now is to help her find Torah observant friends. When her friends are doing it she will also do it. But to expect her to keep Shabbos and the other mitzvahs when she is the only one doing it is almost impossible.

     When we find the spiritual joy ourselves it is a lot easier to share it with others. So first look and see why you are so happy putting on tefillin and keeping Shabbos and then lovingly explain these things to her.

     This question is, in fact, the purpose of these articles…. How can we bring Jews to the joyful, spiritual awareness that comes from fulfilling the mitzvahs in the proper way?

    Let me know what works.


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